Author(s): Nickel C, Rahlfs S, Deponte M, Koncarevic S, Becker K
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Abstract The intraerythrocytic protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for more than 500 million clinical cases of tropical malaria annually. Although exposed to high fluxes of reactive oxygen species, Plasmodium lacks the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Thus, the parasite depends on the antioxidant capacity of its host cell and its own peroxidases. These are fuelled by the thioredoxin system and are considered to represent the major defense line against peroxides. Five peroxidases that act in different compartments have been described in P. falciparum. They include two typical 2-Cys peroxiredoxins (Prx), a 1-Cys Prx, the so-called antioxidant protein (AOP), which is a further Prx acting on the basis of a 1-Cys mechanism, and a glutathione peroxidase-like thioredoxin peroxidase. Because of their central function in redox regulation and antioxidant defense, some of these proteins might represent highly interesting targets for structure-based drug development. In this article we summarize the present knowledge on the thioredoxin and peroxiredoxin metabolism in malaria parasitized red blood cells. We furthermore report novel data on the biochemical and kinetic characterization of different thioredoxins, of AOP, and of the classic 1-Cys peroxiredoxin of P. falciparum.
This article was published in Antioxid Redox Signal
and referenced in Malaria Control & Elimination