Schistosomes are parasitic blood flukes, responsible for significant human disease in tropical and developing nations. Here we review information on the organization of the cytoskeleton and associated motor proteins of schistosomes, with particular reference to the organization of the syncytial tegument, a unique cellular adaptation of these and other neodermatan flatworms. Extensive EST databases show that the molecular constituents of the cytoskeleton and associated molecular systems are likely to be similar to those of other eukaryotes, although there are potentially some molecules unique to schistosomes and platyhelminths. The biology of some components, particular those contributing to host-parasite interactions as well as chemotherapy and immunotherapy are discussed. Unresolved questions in relation to the structure and function of the tegument relate to dynamic organization of the syncytial layer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science