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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)
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)
Parasitic diseases represent major global health problems of immense proportion. Schistosomiasis, malaria, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and African sleeping sickness affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide, cause millions of deaths annually, and present an immense social and economic burden. Recent advances in genomic analysis of several of the(More)
Analysis of the evolution, localization and biologic function of papain family cysteine proteases in metazoan and protozoan parasites has provided important and often surprising insights into the biochemistry and cellular function of this diverse enzyme family. Furthermore, the relative lack of redundancy of cysteine proteases in parasites compared to their(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)
Proteases frequently function not only as individual enzymes but also in cascades or networks. A notable evolutionary switch occurred in one such protease network that is involved in protein digestion in the intestine. In vertebrates, this is largely the work of trypsin family serine proteases, whereas in invertebrates, cysteine proteases of the papain(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)
Papain-like cysteine endopeptidases have been recognized as potential targets for chemotherapy and serodiagnostic reagents in infections with the human parasitic helminth Schistosoma. A novel cathepsin B endopeptidase from adult S. mansoni has been isolated and characterized. The enzyme is termed SmCB2 to distinguish it from the first recorded schistosome(More)