Transcriptional Regulatory Networks in Entamoeba histolytica
Gretchen M. Ehrenkaufer and Upinder Singh
Affiliation: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, 94305-5107, USA.
Keywords: Microarrays, protozoan parasite, stage conversion, invasion, virulence, gene expression
Expression profiling with microarray technology has revolutionized exploration of transcriptional regulatory networks on a genome-wide scale. This approach has been successfully applied to the study of Entamoeba histolytica, which causes dysentery and liver abscesses and is a leading parasitic cause of death globally. A variety of microarray platforms have been developed for this system including those generated from genomic DNA, long oligonucleotides, and short oligonucleotides. Using these tools researchers have identified parasite genes whose transcript abundance is differentially regulated during stress, host invasion, and stage conversion. Additionally, novel virulence factors have been identified by identifying genes that are highly expressed in virulent but with low expression in non-virulent Entamoeba strains. All combined, these studies have provided new data on molecular aspects of amebic biology, pathogenic potential and stage conversion and provide investigators with the first insights into potential novel drug targets against amebic disease.
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