The production of polyamines has been shown to be an effective target for a drug against the West African form of sleeping sickness caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. T. brucei belongs to the group of protozoan parasites classed as trypanosomatids. Parasitic species of this group are the causative agents of various tropical diseases besides African sleeping sickness, e.g. Chagas' disease (Trypanosoma cruzi), cutaneous (Lesihmania spp.) and visceral (Leishmania donovani) leishmaniasis. The metabolism of polyamines in the parasites is a potential target for the development of new drugs for treatment of these diseases. The key steps in polyamine synthesis are catalysed by ODC (ornithine decarboxylase) and AdoMetDC (S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase). In the present paper, some of the available information on ODC and AdoMetDC in trypanosomatids will be described and discussed.

You do not currently have access to this content.