Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 Aug 23;12(8):e0006512. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006512. eCollection 2018 Aug.

Cysteine proteases in protozoan parasites.

Author information

Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.
National Reference Centre for Parasitology, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada.
Program in Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Departments of Pathology and Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California, United States of America.
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.


Cysteine proteases (CPs) play key roles in the pathogenesis of protozoan parasites, including cell/tissue penetration, hydrolysis of host or parasite proteins, autophagy, and evasion or modulation of the host immune response, making them attractive chemotherapeutic and vaccine targets. This review highlights current knowledge on clan CA cysteine proteases, the best-characterized group of cysteine proteases, from 7 protozoan organisms causing human diseases with significant impact: Entamoeba histolytica, Leishmania species (sp.), Trypanosoma brucei, T. cruzi, Cryptosporidium sp., Plasmodium sp., and Toxoplasma gondii. Clan CA proteases from three organisms (T. brucei, T. cruzi, and Plasmodium sp.) are well characterized as druggable targets based on in vitro and in vivo models. A number of candidate inhibitors are under development. CPs from these organisms and from other protozoan parasites should be further characterized to improve our understanding of their biological functions and identify novel targets for chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center