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Trends Parasitol. 2009 Dec;25(12):573-81. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Oct 24.

The global cysteine peptidase landscape in parasites.

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  • 1UCSF Graduate Program in Biological and Medical Informatics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158-2330, USA.


The accumulation of sequenced genomes has expanded the already sizeable population of cysteine peptidases from parasites. Characterization of a few of these enzymes has ascribed key roles to peptidases in parasite life cycles and has also shed light on mechanisms of pathogenesis. Here we discuss recent observations on the physiological activities of cysteine peptidases of parasitic organisms, paired with a global view of all cysteine peptidases from the MEROPS database grouped by similarity. This snapshot of the landscape of parasite cysteine peptidases is complex and highly populated, suggesting that expansion of research beyond the few 'model' parasite peptidases is now timely.

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