Target Identification and Intervention Strategies against Kinetoplastid Protozoan Parasites

Abstract

The past few decades have been marked by numerous admirable research efforts and promising technological advancements in the field of research on protozoan parasites. The parasites of this genre cause some devastating diseases that pose alarming threat to the mankind. Though several intervention strategies have been developed to get rid of these parasites, they always seem to frustrate the efforts of the scientific community sooner or later. The intervention strategies include identification of novel drug targets, development of target-based therapy, and development of vaccines. that provide significant impetus in the field of research pertaining to these parasites. In this context, several reviews have appeared in the past few years elucidating different drug targets in these parasites. For example, Das et al. [1], Balaña-Fouce et al. [2], and others have described the role of topoisomerases as potential drug targets in these kinetoplastid protozoa. Urbina [3] has described the lipid biosynthetic pathway as a possible chemotherapeutic target whereas McConville [4] has elucidated the potential of parasite surface glycoconjugates as possible drug targets. Other targets include cysteine peptidases [5] and histone deacetylases [6] of the trypanosomatid parasites. Parasites of the genus Trypanosoma and Leishmania are kinetoplastid protozoan parasites that cause trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis, respectively. Parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium mainly cause malaria. These diseases are prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries and cause significant morbidity and mortality. However, these diseases are of the lowest priority because they offer little or no commercial incentives to the pharmaceutical companies. This special issue is a much needed and timely compilation of selected research and review articles in the concerned field. Though the selected papers are not a comprehensive representation of the field, but they represent a rich mixture of multifaceted knowledge that we have the pleasure of sharing with the readers. We would like to thank all the authors for their excellent contributions and also the reviewers for their efforts in assisting us. This special issue contains thirteen papers, of which five are research papers, and the rest are review articles. The five research articles mainly focus on development of new drugs and targets and also shed light on novel therapeutic intervention strategies. In the first paper, S. Sengupta et al. have established cryptolepine-induced cell death in the pro-tozoan parasite L. donovani. Interestingly, the death process is augmented when the autophagic mechanism is inhibited by specific chemical inhibitors, and this finding may form the skeleton …

DOI: 10.4061/2011/185413

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@inproceedings{Majumder2011TargetIA, title={Target Identification and Intervention Strategies against Kinetoplastid Protozoan Parasites}, author={Hemanta Kumar Majumder and Wanderley de Souza and Kwang Poo Chang}, booktitle={Molecular biology international}, year={2011} }