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Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease in tropical and subtropical regions and is associated with a variety of clinical syndromes that may lead to severe morbidity. Over the past 25 years, therapy and control of schistosomiasis has come to rely heavily on one drug, praziquantel (PZQ). This reliance is of concern should widespread treatment failure(More)
Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for the neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis that affects 210 million people in 76 countries. Here we present analysis of the 363 megabase nuclear genome of the blood fluke. It encodes at least 11,809 genes, with an unusual intron size distribution, and new families of micro-exon genes that undergo frequent(More)
BACKGROUND Schistosomiasis is a chronic, debilitating parasitic disease infecting more than 200 million people and is second only to malaria in terms of public health importance. Due to the lack of a vaccine, patient therapy is heavily reliant on chemotherapy with praziquantel as the World Health Organization-recommended drug, but concerns over drug(More)
Peptidases are essential for the establishment and survival of the medically important parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. This helminth expresses a number of gut-associated peptidases that degrade host blood proteins, including hemoglobin, as a means of nutrition. Using irreversible affinity probes, we demonstrate that S. mansoni cathepsin B-like endopeptidase(More)
Schistosomiasis is a prevalent and chronic helmintic disease in tropical regions. Treatment and control relies on chemotherapy with just one drug, praziquantel and this reliance is of concern should clinically relevant drug resistance emerge and spread. Therefore, to identify potential target proteins for new avenues of drug discovery we have taken a(More)
BACKGROUND Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only widely available drug to treat schistosomiasis. Given the potential for drug resistance, it is prudent to search for novel therapeutics. Identification of anti-schistosomal chemicals has traditionally relied on phenotypic (whole organism) screening with adult worms in vitro and/or animal models of disease-tools that(More)
Cysteine proteinases were tested for their suitability as targets for chemotherapy of sleeping sickness using the peptidyl inhibitor Z-Phe-Ala-diazomethyl ketone (Z-Phe-Ala-CHN2). In vitro, the inhibitory concentration of Z-Phe-Ala-CHN;2 required to reduce the growth rate by 50% was 400 times lower for culture-adapted bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei(More)
The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes Human African trypanosomiasis, which is fatal if left untreated. Due to the toxicity of currently used drugs and emerging drug resistance, there is an urgent need for novel therapies. The major trypanosome papain-like cysteine protease expressed by the parasite (e.g., rhodesain in T. b. rhodesiense) is(More)
Asparaginyl endopeptidases, or legumains, are a recently identified family of cysteine-class endopeptidases. A single gene encoding a Schistosoma mansoni asparaginyl endopeptidase (a.k.a. Sm32 or schistosome legumain) has been reported, but by sequence homology it would be expected to yield an inactive product as the active site C197 had been replaced by N.(More)
The gene-regulatory elements controlling peptidase expression in Schistosoma mansoni are unknown. A genomic DNA library was constructed from which 5' flanking fragments of the cathepsins F (SmCF; 649 bp) and B2 (SmCB2; 810 bp) peptidase genes were isolated. These were cloned into a GFP-expression vector for biolistic transformation of schistosomes. Both(More)