Polyamine biosynthetic enzymes as drug targets in parasitic protozoa

O. Heby, S. C. Roberts, B. Ullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Molecular, biochemical and genetic characterization of ornithine decarboxylase, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase and spermidine synthase establishes that these polyamine-biosynthetic enzymes are essential for growth and survival of the agents that cause African sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis and malaria. These enzymes exhibit features that differ significantly between the parasites and the human host. Therefore it is conceivable that exploitation of such differences can lead to the design of new inhibitors that will selectively kill the parasites while exerting minimal, or at least tolerable, effects on the parasite-infected patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-419
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Society transactions
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • African sleeping sickness
  • Chagas' disease
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria
  • Polyamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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