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Aminopeptidases of Malaria Parasites: New Targets for Chemotherapy

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Novel targets for new drug development are urgently required to combat malaria, a disease that puts half of the world's population at risk. One group of enzymes identified within the genome of the most lethal of the causative agents of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, that may have the potential to become new targets for antimalarial drug development are the aminopeptidases. These enzymes catalyse the cleavage of the N-terminal amino acids from proteins and peptides. P. falciparum appears to encode for at least nine aminopeptidases, two neutral aminopeptidases, one aspartyl aminopeptidase, one aminopeptidase P, one prolyl aminopeptidase and four methionine aminopeptidases. Recent advances in our understanding of these genes and their protein products are outlined in this review, including their potential for antimalarial drug development.





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Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum; aminopeptidase; drug discovery; malaria

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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