Maria Elena P. Morales

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The recent release of draft genome sequences of two of the major human schistosomes has underscored the pressing need to develop functional genomics approaches for these significant pathogens. The sequence information also makes feasible genome-scale investigation of transgene integration into schistosome chromosomes. Retrovirus-mediated transduction offers(More)
Retroviral transduction of cultured schistosomes offers a potential means to establish transgenic lines of schistosomes and thereby to facilitate the elucidation of schistosome gene function and expression. The Moloney murine leukemia retroviral (MMLV) vector pLNHX was modified to incorporate EGFP or luciferase reporter genes under control of schistosome(More)
The aspartic protease cathepsin D (Clan AA, Family A1) is expressed in the schistosome gut where it plays an apical role in the digestion of hemoglobin released from ingested erythrocytes. In this report, RNA interference approaches were employed to investigate the effects of knockdown of schistosome cathepsin D. Cultured schistosomules of Schistosoma(More)
The transposon piggyBac from the genome of the cabbage looper moth Trichoplusia ni has been observed in the laboratory to jump into the genomes of key model and pathogenic eukaryote organisms including mosquitoes, planarians, human and other mammalian cells, and the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Introduction of exogenous transposons into(More)
Of the major families of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, the Pao/BEL family is probably the least well studied. It is becoming apparent that numerous LTR retrotransposons and other mobile genetic elements have colonized the genome of the human blood fluke, Schistosoma mansoni. A proviral form of Sinbad, a new LTR retrotransposon, was identified(More)
Genomes of the major human helminth parasites, and indeed many others of agricultural significance, are now the research focus of intensive genome sequencing and annotation. A draft genome sequence of the filarial parasite Brugia malayi was reported in 2007 and draft genomes of two of the human schistosomes, Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni reported in(More)
The growing availability of sequence information from diverse parasites through genomic and transcriptomic projects offer new opportunities for the identification of key mediators in the parasite-host interaction. Functional genomics approaches and methods for the manipulation of genes are essential tools for deciphering the roles of genes and to identify(More)
BACKGROUND The schistosome egg represents an attractive developmental stage at which to target transgenes because of the high ratio of germ to somatic cells, because the transgene might be propagated and amplified by infecting snails with the miracidia hatched from treated eggs, and because eggs can be readily obtained from experimentally infected rodents.(More)
Schistosoma mansoni leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) is thought to play a central role in hatching of the miracidium from the schistosome egg. We identified two discrete LAPs genes in the S. mansoni genome, and their orthologs in S. japonicum. The similarities in sequence and exon/intron structure of the two genes, LAP1 and LAP2, suggest that they arose by gene(More)
BACKGROUND The liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini is classified as a class I carcinogen due to the association between cholangiocarcinoma and chronic O. viverrini infection. During its feeding activity within the bile duct, the parasite secretes several cathepsin F cysteine proteases that may induce or contribute to the pathologies associated with(More)