Trypanosomes Vary Surface Proteins to Outwit the Immune System

Parasitic eukaryotes live in hostile environments and must elude the defenses of their host. Many adaptations have occurred in parasitic eukaryotes to overcome host defense systems and allow the parasite to thrive in these one-sided relationships. Many parasitic microorganisms attempt to elude the immune system of their host by changing their surface proteins (Fig. 19.12). The idea behind this strategy is straightforward. The immune memory cells recognize the proteins on the surface of the original generation of invading germs. However, if each successive wave of invaders changes its

FIGURE 19.11 Scrambled Germline Genes of Oxytricha

The original Oxytricha ancestor had all its MDS segments in the same order as the final gene coding sequence. Multiple crossover events during evolution have scrambled the order of the MDS. Modern Oxytricha must remove the IES and then unscramble the MDS in order for the gene to be expressed properly.

Crossing over in ancestral micronucleus scrambles order of MDS

FIGURE 19.11 Scrambled Germline Genes of Oxytricha

The original Oxytricha ancestor had all its MDS segments in the same order as the final gene coding sequence. Multiple crossover events during evolution have scrambled the order of the MDS. Modern Oxytricha must remove the IES and then unscramble the MDS in order for the gene to be expressed properly.

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