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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 726045, 24 pages
Review Article

Regulation of Gene Expression in Protozoa Parasites

1Programa Institucional de Biomedicina Molecular, ENMyH-IPN, Guillermo, Massieu Helguera, No. 239, Fracc. La Escalera, Ticomán, CP 07320 México, Mexico
2Departamento de Infectómica y Patogénesis Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, A.P. 14-740 México, DF 07000, Mexico

Received 31 July 2009; Revised 10 November 2009; Accepted 8 January 2010

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2010 Consuelo Gomez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.