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Biol Chem. 1997 Jan;378(1):1-10.

Cruzipain, the major cysteine proteinase from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

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1
Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas, Luis F. Leloir, Fundación Campomar - CONICET - Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasitic protozoan which causes the American Trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, contains a major cysteine proteinase (CP), cruzipain. The enzyme belongs to the papain family, but contains, as other CPs from Trypanosomatids, an unusual C-terminal extension. This C-terminal domain contains a number of post-translational modifications and is responsible for the immunodominant antigenic character of cruzipain in natural human infections. In addition, this domain is probably the cause of most of the microheterogeneities found in natural cruzipain. Irreversible inhibitors of CPs are able to block the parasite's life cycle at the differentiation steps, suggesting an essential role for CPs for parasite survival, and opening up possibilities of developing new chemotherapeutic agents against Chagas disease based on specific cruzipain inhibitors.

PMID:
9049059
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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