Cryptosporidium Hominis Genome Sequenced

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - US researchers have sequenced the genome for Cryptosporidium hominis, an important cause of acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea worldwide, according to a report in the October 28th issue of Nature. The findings highlight several proteins that could serve as novel therapeutic targets.

The genome is spread over 8 chromosomes with roughly 9.2 million base pairs, senior author Dr. Gregory A. Buck, from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and colleagues note.

Further analysis revealed a variety of protein-coding genes, many of which seemed to help the parasite adapt to its target environments. Moreover, the genome findings suggest that C. hominis gets most of its energy through glycolysis, although there is evidence that both anaerobic and aerobic metabolism are available.

The parasite appears to have limited biosynthesis capabilities, which may help explain the abundance of transporters the researchers uncovered. Numerous genes for apical complex organelles are noted, but there is no evidence of an apicoplast.

"The availability of the genome sequence of the human pathogen C. hominis is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the biology of this parasite," the authors write.

"We expect that the availability of the sequence of C. hominis will stimulate progress in research on this organism and its pathogenicity, and strategies for intervention in the diseases it causes."

Source: Nature 2004;431:1107-1112. [ Google search on this article ]

MeSH Headings: Genomic Library : Gene Library

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