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Proteinases of Trypanosoma Cruzi: Potential Targets for the Chemotherapy of Chagas Disease

[ Vol. 2 , Issue. 11 ]


Juan Jose Cazzulo   Pages 1261 - 1271 ( 11 )


Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of the American Trypanosomiasis, Chagas Disease, contains cysteine, serine, threonine and metallo proteinases. Aspartic proteinases have not been found so far. The most abundant among these enzymes is cruzipain, a cysteine proteinase expressed as a complex mixture of isoforms by the major developmental stages of the parasite, including some membrane-bound isoforms. The enzyme is an immunodominant antigen in human chronic Chagas disease and seems to be important in the host / parasite relationship. Inhibitors of cruzipain kill the parasite and cure infected mice, thus making the enzyme a very promising target for the development of new drugs against Chagas disease. In addition 30 kDa cathepsin B-like enzymes have been described. Serine peptidases described in the parasite include oligopeptidase B, a member of the prolyl oligopeptidase family involved in Ca2+-signalling during mammalian cell invasion; a prolyl endopeptidase (Tc80), against which inhibitors are being d eveloped, and a serine carboxypeptidase belonging to the S10 family. Metalloproteinases homologous to the gp63 of Leishmania spp. are also present. The proteasome has properties similar to those of other eukaryotes, and its inhibition by lactacystin blocks some differentiation steps in the life cycle of the parasite.


proteinases of trypanosoma cruzi, chemotherapy of chagas disease, proteolytic activities in trypanosoma cruzi


Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnologicas. Universidad Nacional de General San Martin. Av. General Paz y Albarellos, INTI. C.C. 30, 1650 San Martin, Prov. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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