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Protozoa of the genus Leishmania cause a wide variety of pathologies ranging from self-healing skin lesions to visceral damage, depending on the parasite species. The outcome of infection depends on the quality of the adaptive immune response, which is determined by parasite factors and the host genetic background. Innate responses, resulting in the(More)
Ecotin is a potent inhibitor of family S1A serine peptidases, enzymes lacking in the protozoan parasite Leishmania major. Nevertheless, L. major has three ecotin-like genes, termed inhibitor of serine peptidase (ISP). ISP1 is expressed in vector-borne procyclic and metacyclic promastigotes, whereas ISP2 is also expressed in the mammalian amastigote stage.(More)
In cutaneous leishmaniasis, Leishmania amazonensis activates macrophage double-stranded, RNA-activated protein kinase R (PKR) to promote parasite growth. In our study, Leishmania major grew normally in RAW cells, RAW-expressing dominant-negative PKR (PKR-DN) cells, and macrophages of PKR-knockout mice, revealing that PKR is dispensable for L. major growth(More)
ICP is a chagasin-family natural tight binding inhibitor of Clan CA, family C1 cysteine peptidases (CPs). We investigated the role of ICP in Trypanosoma brucei by generating bloodstream form ICP-deficient mutants (Deltaicp). A threefold increase in CP activity was detected in lysates of Deltaicp, which was restored to the levels in wild type parasites by(More)
Leishmania ISPs are ecotin-like natural peptide inhibitors of trypsin-family serine peptidases, enzymes that are absent from the Leishmania genome. This led to the proposal that ISPs inhibit host serine peptidases and we have recently shown that ISP2 inhibits neutrophil elastase, thereby enhancing parasite survival in murine macrophages. In this study we(More)
We have evaluated the roles of key amino acids to the action of the natural inhibitor chagasin of papain-family cysteine peptidases. A W93A substitution decreased inhibitor affinity for human cathepsin L 100-fold, while substitutions of T31 resulted in 10-100-fold increases in the K(i) for cruzipain of Trypanosoma cruzi. A T31A/T32A double mutant had(More)
Trypanosomatids rely on peptidases as potent virulence factors and were recently found to contain a unique set of natural peptidase inhibitors not found in higher eukaryotes or in yeast, but present in a limited number of bacteria. Cha-gasin, identified in Trypanosoma cruzi, is a tight-binding, high affinity inhibitor of papain-like cysteine peptidases that(More)
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