Host-parasite molecular cross-talk during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite.

Abstract : Many parasite taxa are able to alter a wide range of phenotypic traits of their hosts in ways that seem to improve the parasite's chance of completing its life cycle. Host behavioural alterations are classically seen as compelling illustrations of the 'extended phenotype' concept, which suggests that parasite genes have phenotype effects on the host. The molecular mechanisms and the host-parasite cross-talk involved during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite are still poorly understood. In this Review, the current knowledge on proximate mechanisms related to the 'parasite manipulation hypothesis' is presented. Parasite genome sequences do not themselves provide a full explanation of parasite biology nor of the molecular cross-talk involved in host-parasite associations. Recently, first-generation proteomics tools have been employed to unravel some aspects of the parasite manipulation process (i.e. proximate mechanisms and evolutionary convergence) using certain model arthropod-host-parasite associations. The pioneer proteomics results obtained on the manipulative process are here highlighted, along with the many gaps in our knowledge. Candidate genes and biochemical pathways potentially involved in the parasite manipulation are presented. Finally, taking into account the environmental factors, we suggest new avenues and approaches to further explore and understand the proximate mechanisms used by parasite species to alter phenotypic traits of their hosts.
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Submitted on : Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 10:23:50 PM
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David Georges Biron, Hugh D Loxdale. Host-parasite molecular cross-talk during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite.. Journal of Experimental Biology, Cambridge University Press, 2013, 216 (Pt 1), pp.148-60. ⟨10.1242/jeb.073825⟩. ⟨hal-00834511⟩



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