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Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is synthesized by two isoforms of the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65 and GAD67). GAD67 is constitutively active and is responsible for basal GABA production. In contrast, GAD65, an autoantigen in type I diabetes, is transiently activated in response to the demand for extra GABA in(More)
The functions of the cathepsin B-like proteases in liver flukes are unknown and analysis has been hindered by a lack of protein for study, since the protein is produced in small amounts by juvenile flukes. To circumvent this, we isolated and characterized a cDNA encoding the major secreted cathepsin B from Fasciola hepatica. The predicted preproprotein is(More)
The newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) stage of the Fasciola hepatica lifecycle occurs just prior to invasion into the wall of the gut of the host, rendering it an important target for drug development. The cathepsin B enzymes from NEJ flukes have recently been demonstrated to be crucial to invasion and migration by the parasite. Here we characterize one of the(More)
BACKGROUND In mammals succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) plays an essential role in the metabolism of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to succinic acid (SA). Deficiency of SSADH in humans results in elevated levels of GABA and gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), which leads to psychomotor retardation, muscular hypotonia,(More)
Serpins are a broadly distributed family of protease inhibitors that use a conformational change to inhibit target enzymes. They are central in controlling many important proteolytic cascades, including the mammalian coagulation pathways. Serpins are conformationally labile and many of the disease-linked mutations of serpins result in misfolding or in(More)
Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is(More)
Natural killer cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes accomplish the critically important function of killing virus-infected and neoplastic cells. They do this by releasing the pore-forming protein perforin and granzyme proteases from cytoplasmic granules into the cleft formed between the abutting killer and target cell membranes. Perforin, a 67-kilodalton(More)
Plasminogen is the zymogen form of plasmin, an enzyme that plays a fundamental role in the dissolution of fibrin clots, the extracellular matrix and other key proteins involved in immunity and tissue repair. Comprising seven distinct domains (an N-terminal Pan-apple domain (PAp), 5 kringle domains (KR) and the serine protease domain (SP)), plasminogen(More)
Many bacterial pathogens produce extracellular proteases that degrade the extracellular matrix of the host and therefore are involved in disease pathogenesis. Dichelobacter nodosus is the causative agent of ovine footrot, a highly contagious disease that is characterized by the separation of the hoof from the underlying tissue. D. nodosus secretes three(More)
Plasminogen is the proenzyme precursor of the primary fibrinolytic protease plasmin. Circulating plasminogen, which comprises a Pan-apple (PAp) domain, five kringle domains (KR1-5), and a serine protease (SP) domain, adopts a closed, activation-resistant conformation. The kringle domains mediate interactions with fibrin clots and cell-surface receptors.(More)