Gene expression studies in adult females of Schistosoma mansoni
cultured in vitro revealed that the transcription of female-specifically
expressed genes is influenced by pairing. In contrast, the activity of
that are expressed in both genders
was not affected by contact with the male. The transcription of genes was
monitored in paired, separated and remated
females. The transcript level of female-specifically expressed genes
decreases within a few days following separation from
males. Remating of uncoupled females with males leads to the reinitiation
of transcription. These results provide strong
evidence for the influence of the male on gene transcription in the female
and contribute a molecular basis for the classical
histological observation that the maturation of females is male dependent.
The data also show that the culture system is
suitable to monitor gene expression and, furthermore, they indicate
de novo RNA synthesis in vitro.