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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Parasite Polyamines as Pharmaceutical Targets

Author(s): Sigrid Roberts* and Buddy Ullman

Volume 23, Issue 23, 2017

Page: [3325 - 3341] Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/1381612823666170601101644

Price: $65


There is an urgent need for the identification and validation of new therapeutic targets in protozoan parasites because currently available drugs are limited in number and usefulness, and no vaccines are available. The discovery that alpha-difluoromethylornithine, an inhibitor of polyamine biosynthesis, is an efficacious treatment for African Sleeping Sickness caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, has validated the polyamine pathway as a target in protozoan parasites. Polyamines are ubiquitous organic cations that play critical roles in key cellular processes such as growth, differentiation, and macromolecular biosynthesis. In recent years, remarkable progress has been made in the characterization of the polyamine pathway in a variety of protozoan parasites and this review will highlight surprising and unique features that could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Polyamines, parasites, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania, Plasmodium, therapeutic strategies.

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