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Trends Parasitol. 2004 Aug;20(8):381-7.

Topoisomerases of kinetoplastid parasites as potential chemotherapeutic targets.

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  • 1Sealy Center for Molecular Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555, USA.


The protozoan parasites Trypanosoma, Leishmania and Crithidia, which belong to the order kinetoplastidae, emerge from the most ancient eukaryotic lineages. The diversity found in the life cycle of these organisms must be directed by genetic events, wherein topoisomerases play an important role in cellular processes affecting the topology and organization of intracellular DNA. Topoisomerases are valuable as potential drug targets because they have indispensable function in cell biology. This review summarizes what is known about topoisomerase genes and proteins of kinetoplastid parasites and the roles of these enzymes as targets for therapeutic agents.

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