Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) and their roles in parasite biochemistry, host-parasite interaction and antiparasitic drug action.

Bell, A., Monaghan, P. and Page, A.P. (2006) Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) and their roles in parasite biochemistry, host-parasite interaction and antiparasitic drug action. International Journal for Parasitology, 36(3), pp. 261-276. (doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2005.11.003)

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Immunophilin is the collective name given to the cyclophilin and FK506-binding protein (FKBP) families. As the name suggests, these include the major binding proteins of certain immunosuppressive drugs: cyclophilins for the cyclic peptide cyclosporin A and FKBPs for the macrolactones FK506 and rapamycin. Both families, although dissimilar in sequence, possess peptidyl-prolyl <i>cis-trans</i> isomerase activity in vitro and can play roles in protein folding and transport, RNA splicing and the regulation of multiprotein complexes in cells. In addition to enzymic activity, many immunophilins act as molecular chaperones. This property may be conferred by the isomerase domain and/or by additional domains. Recent years have seen a great increase in the number of known immunophilin genes in parasitic protozoa and helminths and in many cases their products have been characterized biochemically and their temporal and spatial expression patterns have been examined. Some of these genes represent novel types: one example is a <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i> gene encoding a protein with both cyclophilin and FKBP domains. Likely roles in protein folding and oligomerisation, RNA splicing and sexual differentiation have been suggested for parasite immunophilins. In addition, unexpected roles in parasite virulence (Mip FKBP of <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i>) and host immuno-modulation (e.g. 18-kDa cyclophilin of <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i>) have been established. Furthermore, in view of the potent antiparasitic activities of cyclosporins, macrolactones and nonimmunosuppressive derivatives of these compounds, immunophilins may mediate drug action and/or may themselves represent potential drug targets. Investigation of the mechanisms of action of these agents may lead to the design of potent and selective antimalarial and other antiparasitic drugs. This review discusses the properties of immunophilins in parasites and the 'animal model' <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> and relates these to our understanding of the roles of these proteins in cellular biochemistry, host-parasite interaction and the antiparasitic mechanisms of the drugs that bind to them.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Protein folding, cyclophilin, FKBP, cyclosporin, FK506, rapamycin.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Page, Professor Tony
Authors: Bell, A., Monaghan, P., and Page, A.P.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH345 Biochemistry
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Research Group:Page Group
Journal Name:International Journal for Parasitology
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2006 Elsevier
First Published:First published in International Journal for Parasitology 36(3):261-276
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
229993The Molecular Enzymology of Collagen Assembly and Post-Translational Modification: a Nematode Model SystemAntony PageMedical Research Council (MRC)G117/476Infection Immunity and Inflammation Life Sciences