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Treatment of schistosomiasis, a widespread human parasitic disease caused by the helminth parasites of the genus Schistosoma, relies mainly on one chemotherapeutic agent, praziquantel, although several other compounds exert anti-parasitic effects. One such compound is the immunosuppressant cyclosporin A, which has been shown to significantly diminish worm(More)
2-Cys peroxiredoxins (Prxs) play two different roles depending on the physiological status of the cell. They are thioredoxin-dependent peroxidases under low oxidative stress and ATP-independent chaperones upon exposure to high peroxide concentrations. These alternative functions have been associated with changes in the oligomerization state from low-(LMW)(More)
Members of the typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (Prx) subfamily represent an intriguing example of protein moonlighting behavior since this enzyme shifts function: indeed, upon chemical stimuli, such as oxidative stress, Prx undergoes a switch from peroxidase to molecular chaperone, associated to a change in quaternary structure from dimers/decamers to(More)
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease affecting over 200 million people currently treated with one drug, praziquantel. A possible drug target is the seleno-protein thioredoxin-glutathione reductase (TGR), a key enzyme in the pathway of the parasite for detoxification of reactive oxygen species. The enzyme is a unique fusion of a glutaredoxin domain with a(More)
The red blood cells (RBCs) are among the most simple and less expensive cells to purify; for this reason and for their physiological relevance, they have been extensively studied with a variety of techniques. The picture that results is that these cells have several peculiarities including extreme mechanical performances, relatively simple architecture,(More)
Thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR) is a key flavoenzyme expressed by schistosomes that bridges two detoxification pathways crucial for the parasite survival in the host's organism. In this article we report the crystal structure (at 2.2 A resolution) of TGR from Schistosoma mansoni (SmTGR), deleted in the last two residues. The structure reveals the(More)
We recently developed an atomic force microscopy-based protocol to use the roughness of the plasma membrane of erythrocytes (red blood cells, RBCs) as a morphological parameter, independently from the cell shape, to investigate the membrane-skeleton integrity in healthy and pathological cells. Here we apply the method to investigate a complex physiological(More)
The S-conjugation rates of the free-reacting thiols present on each component of rat hemoglobin with 5,5-dithio-bis(2,2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) have been studied under a variety of conditions. On the basis of their reactivity with DTNB (0.5 mM), three classes of thiols have been defined as follows: fast reacting (fHbSH), with t1/2 <100 ms; slow reacting(More)
Schistosomiasis, the human parasitosis caused by various species of the blood-fluke Schistosoma, is a debilitating disease affecting 200 million people in tropical areas. The massive administration of the only effective drug, praziquantel, leads to the appearance of less sensitive parasite strains, thus, making urgent the search for new therapeutic(More)
Plasmodium falciparum is the vector of the most prevalent and deadly form of malaria, and, among the Plasmodium species, it is the one with the highest rate of drug resistance. At the basis of a rational drug design project there is the selection and characterization of suitable target(s). Thioredoxin reductase, the first protection against reactive oxygen(More)