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Signalling pathways and the host-parasite relationship: Putative targets for control interventions against schistosomiasis

Signalling pathways and future anti-schistosome therapies

Authors

  • Hong You,

    1. Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia
    2. School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Geoffrey N. Gobert,

    1. Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Malcolm K. Jones,

    1. Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia
    2. School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Wenbao Zhang,

    1. Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Donald P. McManus

    Corresponding author
    1. Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia
    • Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Brisbane, Australia.
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Abstract

A better understanding of how schistosomes exploit host nutrients, neuro-endocrine hormones and signalling pathways for growth, development and maturation may provide new insights for improved interventions in the control of schistosomiasis. This paper describes recent advances in the identification and characterisation of schistosome tyrosine kinase and signalling pathways. It discusses the potential intervention value of insulin signalling, which may play an important role in glucose uptake and carbohydrate metabolism in schistosomes, providing the nutrients essential for parasite growth, development and, notably, female fecundity. Significant progress has also been made in the characterisation of other schistosome growth factor receptors, such as transforming growth factor beta receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor, and in our understanding of their roles in the host-parasite molecular dialogue and parasite development. The use of parasite signal transduction components as novel vaccine or drug targets may prove invaluable in prevention, treatment and control strategies to combat schistosomiasis.

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