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Trends Parasitol. 2002 Jan;18(1):17-9.

Trypanosome hydrolases and the blood-brain barrier.

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Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


African trypanosomes cross the blood-brain barrier, but how they do so remains an area of speculation. We propose that proteases, such as the trypanopains and oligopeptidases that are released by trypanosomes, could mediate in this process. The trypanosomes also possess cell-surface-associated acid phosphatases that could play a role in invasion similar to that in advancing cancer cells. Such enzymes, perhaps acting in concert, have the potential to cause tissue degradation and ease the passage of the trypanosomes through various tissues in the host, including the blood-brain barrier.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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