Aspartic Proteinase of Plasmodium falciparum
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Aspartic Proteinase of Plasmodium falciparum book
Malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium with the most aggressive form being originated by the species Plasmodium falciparum. The properties of the aspartic proteinases have therefore been intensively studied and the design of their inhibitors presents promising, novel therapeutic approaches for malaria treatment. The Plasmodium parasites are protozoans, which belongs to the genus Sporozoa, characterized by the ability of its members to reproduce by nonsexual formation of spores. The insect injects a sporozoite form of the parasite together with its saliva and the parasite enters the blood stream where it invades the parenchymal liver cells. During the intra erythrocyte phase, the parasite causes degradation of hemoglobin whose fragments serve as nutrition for the parasite. The proteolytic activity connected to the parasites was documented on several strains of Plasmodium parasite, and it was proved to be an aspartic proteinase. The proteinase was localized, using immunolabeling, to the vacuoles of the trophozoite.