Cathepsin proteases in Toxoplasma gondii

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;712:49-61. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-8414-2_4.


Cysteine proteases are important for the growth and survival of apicomplexan parasites that infect humans. The apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii expresses five members of the C1 family of cysteine proteases, including one cathepsin L-like (TgCPL), one cathepsin B-like (TgCPB) and three cathepsin C-like (TgCPC1, 2 and 3) proteases. Recent genetic, biochemical and structural studies reveal that cathepsins function in microneme and rhoptry protein maturation, host cell invasion, replication and nutrient acquisition. here, we review the key features and roles of T. gondii cathepsins and discuss the therapeutic potential for specific inhibitor development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cathepsins / chemistry
  • Cathepsins / genetics
  • Cathepsins / metabolism*
  • Cathepsins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Transport
  • Toxoplasma / enzymology*


  • Cathepsins