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UCSF researchers help crack parasite genome, identify drug leads
Date:7/15/2009

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"That, combined with the extensive collections of compounds at the small-molecule center, has meant that we can now screen large compound collections at a much higher rate than with the more traditional approach of screening adult parasites, either in culture or in small animal models," Caffrey said.

For the genome research, Caffrey and two other UCSF and QB3 researchers, Susan T. Mashiyama, PhD, and Mohammed Sajid, PhD, were asked to contribute to the genome project based on the track record of the Sandler Center's research into the biology and therapeutic potential of parasite proteolytic enzymes.

Directed by James H. McKerrow, MD, PhD, a professor in the UCSF Department of Pathology, the Sandler Center has shown that proteases make excellent drug targets in many parasites and that small-molecule protease inhibitors can limit or cure experimental infections of Chagas' disease, Human African Trypanosomiasis and schistosomiasis. The detailed characterization of the S. mansoni degradome, therefore, may similarly lead to the identification and development of new protease-targeted chemotherapies for schistosomiasis.


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Contact: Kristen Bole
kbole@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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