University of Cambridge > > Parasitology Seminars > The role of small non-coding RNAs in Strongyloides parasitism

The role of small non-coding RNAs in Strongyloides parasitism

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Small non-coding RNAs are involved in posttranscriptional regulation of genes and transposable elements. They have two possible roles in parasitism: (i) regulation of endogenous transcripts with a direct role in parasitism or other aspects of the parasitic life cycle, and (ii) they are secreted into the host where they target and regulate host transcripts, for the benefit of the parasite. We have investigated both roles of small non-coding RNAs in the gastrointestinal parasites Strongyloides ratti and S. venezuelensis. Families of putative small-interfering RNA are predicted to have roles in reproductive biology and regulating transposable element activity. We have also identified Strongyloides-derived small RNAs secreted in exosome-like vesicles into the host and taken up by intestinal epithelial cells. These secreted small non-coding RNAs are predicted to target host genes and manipulate the host peristalsis response. Secreted small non-coding RNAs are detectable in host faeces and have potential as a disease biomarker.

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This talk is part of the Parasitology Seminars series.

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