This review focuses in the role that antioxidant enzymes play in protection and other important physiological functions such as signal transduction, cell differentiation, growth and apoptosis. Parasites use these enzymes to evade ROS produced by the host immune response and for development inside the host. In the cestoda Taenia solium, three antioxidant enzymes have been studied: a cystosolic Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase that is a target of cestocidal drugs (bencimidazoles); a 2-Cys peroxiredoxin that is a regulatory enzyme of H2O2, molecule essential for several physiological functions; and two isoforms of glutathione transferases that are immunological targets, since they protect immunized mice against cysticercosis. Moreover, all these enzymes are present in all stages of the parasite. These findings suggest that antioxidant enzymes have an important role in T. solium physiology and infection, therefore they might represent the Achilles heel of the parasite.
Keywords: Taenia solium, antioxidant metabolism, superoxide dismutase, 2-Cys peroxiredoxin, glutathione transferase
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