Protozoan parasites are one of the oldest living entities in this world that throughout their existence have shown excellentresilience to the odds of survival and have adapted beautifully to ever changing rigors of the environment. In view of thedynamic environment encountered by them throughout their life cycle, and in establishing pathogenesis, it is unsurprisingthat modulation of gene expression plays a fundamental role in their survival. In higher eukaryotes, untranslated regions(UTRs) of transcripts are one of the crucial regulators of gene expression (influencing mRNA stability and translationefficiency). Parasitic protozoan genome studies have led to the characterization (in silico, in vitro and in vivo) of a largenumber of their genes. Comparison of higher eukaryotic UTRs with parasitic protozoan UTRs reveals the existence ofseveral similar and dissimilar facets of the UTRs. This review focuses on the elements of UTRs of medically importantprotozoan parasites and their regulatory role in gene expression. Such information may be useful to researchers in designinggene targeting strategies linked with perturbation of host-parasite relationships leading to control of specific parasites.
Volume 44 | Issue 4
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