The cysteine protease of Trypanosoma cruzi as a model for antiparasite drug design

Parasitol Today. 1995 Aug;11(8):279-82. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(95)80039-5.


By combining new technology in molecular biology, X-ray crystallography, computer graphics and biochemistry, structure-based drug design provides a parallel and cost-effective strategy for identification of new antiparasite chemotherapy. James McKerrow, Mary McGrath and Juan Engel here discuss an example of the amplication of this strategy is its use in targeting the major cysteine protease in Trypanosoma cruzi. Tools from molecular biology helped overcome the obstacle of limited parasite material to allow production of reagent quantities of enzyme for inhibitor screening. Computer graphics analysis and X-ray crystallography are allowing rapid identification of new inhibitors based on either leads already identified or compounds selected by computer graphics screening of chemical databases.