Invasion and egress by the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii: Potential targets for the development of new antiparasitic drugs

M. D. Lavine, Gustavo Arrizabalaga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intracellular protozoan parasites are a great threat to animal and human health. To successfully disseminate through an organism these parasites must be able to enter and exit host cells efficiently and rapidly. The inhibition of invasion or egress of obligate intracellular parasites is regarded as a goal for drug development since these processes are essential for their survival and likely to require proteins unique to the parasites. Thus, a more comprehensive knowledge of invasion and egress proteins will aid in the development of drugs and vaccines against these intracellular pathogens. In recent years, the study of a particular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, has yielded valuable information on how invasion and egress are achieved by some protozoan parasites. Besides being a good model system for the study of parasite biology, Toxoplasma is an important human pathogen capable of causing devastating disease in both immunocompromised individuals and developing fetuses. The lack of effective, inexpensive and tolerable drugs against Toxoplasma makes the development of new therapies an imperative. The following review describes how the identification and in depth study, using proteomics, forward genetics and pharmacology of the Toxoplasma proteins involved in entering and exiting human cells provide an important starting point in identifying targets for drug discovery,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-651
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • AMA1
  • Egress
  • Invasion
  • Proteases
  • Toxoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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