The common liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, is a parasite of mammals. In the western world its effects are largely felt on agriculture where infection of cows, sheep and other farm animals is estimated to cause millions of dollars of financial losses. In the developing world, the problem is even more serious with an estimated 7 million infected people and many millions more at risk of infection. Calcium signalling is of key importance in all eukaryotic species and recent discoveries of novel types of calcium binding proteins in liver flukes (and related trematodes) suggest that there may be calcium signalling processes which are unique to this group of organisms. If so, these pathways may provide potential targets for the design of novel anthelmintic drugs. Here, we review three main groups of F. hepatica calcium binding proteins: the FH8 family, the calmodulin family (FhCaM1, FhCaM2 and FhCaM3) and the EFhand/ dynein light chain family (FH22, FhCaBP3, FhCaBP4). Considerable information has been gathered on the sequences, predicted structures and biochemical properties of these molecules. The challenge now is to understand their functions in the organism.
|Title of host publication||New Developments in Calcium Signaling Research|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers Inc|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|