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Articles by James H. McKerrow
Total Records ( 2 ) for James H. McKerrow
  Kelly N. DuBois , Marla Abodeely , Judy Sakanari , Charles S. Craik , Malinda Lee , James H. McKerrow and Mohammed Sajid
  Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite and the earliest branching clade of eukaryota. The Giardia life cycle alternates between an asexually replicating vegetative form and an infectious cyst form. Encystation and excystation are crucial processes for the survival and transmission of Giardia. Cysteine proteases in Giardia have been implicated in proteolytic processing events that enable the continuance of the life cycle throughout encystation and excystation. Using quantitative real-time PCR, the expression of twenty-seven clan CA cysteine protease genes in the Giardia genome was measured during both vegetative growth and encystation. Giardia cysteine protease 2 was the most highly expressed cysteine protease during both life cycle stages measured, with a dramatic expression increase during encystation. The mRNA transcript for Giardia cysteine protease 2 was 7-fold up-regulated during encystation and was greater than 3-fold higher than any other Giardia protease gene product. Recombinant Giardia cysteine protease 2 was expressed, purified, and biochemically characterized. The activity of the recombinant cysteine protease 2 protein was confirmed to be identical to the dominant cysteine protease activity found in G. lamblia lysates. Giardia cysteine protease 2 was co-localized with cyst wall protein in encystation-specific vesicles during encystation and processed cyst wall protein 2 to the size found in Giardia cyst walls. These data suggest that Giardia cysteine protease 2 is not only the major cysteine endoprotease expressed in Giardia, but is also central to the encystation process.
  Theresa C. O`Brien , Zachary B. Mackey , Richard D. Fetter , Youngchool Choe , Anthony J. O`Donoghue , Min Zhou , Charles S. Craik , Conor R. Caffrey and James H. McKerrow
  Cysteine proteases of the Clan CA (papain) family are the predominant protease group in primitive invertebrates. Cysteine protease inhibitors arrest infection by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. RNA interference studies implicated a cathepsin B-like protease, tbcatB, as a key inhibitor target. Utilizing parasites in which one of the two alleles of tbcatb has been deleted, the key role of this protease in degradation of endocytosed host proteins is delineated. TbcatB deficiency results in a decreased growth rate and dysmorphism of the flagellar pocket and the subjacent endocytic compartment. Western blot and microscopic analysis indicate that deficiency in tbcatB results in accumulation of both host and parasite proteins, including the lysosomal marker p67. A critical function for parasitism is the degradation of host transferrin, which is necessary for iron acquisition. Substrate specificity analysis of recombinant tbcatB revealed the optimal peptide cleavage sequences for the enzyme and these were confirmed experimentally using FRET-based substrates. Degradation of transferrin was validated by SDS-PAGE and the specific cleavage sites identified by N-terminal sequencing. Because even a modest deficiency in tbcatB is lethal for the parasite, tbcatB is a logical target for the development of new anti-trypanosomal chemotherapy.
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