Useful as a target for drug development/discovery for parasitic diseases. May also be useful in agriculture to prevent crop damage from nematodes.
Parasitic diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide in humans, and also have a significant impact on agricultural productivity due to parasitic infections of livestock. Parasitic diseases have proven difficult to treat, in part due to the presence of the cuticle, a tough exosketal protective structure surrounding the nematode. The availability of an agent that disrupts the formation of the cuticle is a long-sought goal in the treatment of parasitic diseases, because such an agent should make the worm susceptible to host defense mechanisms and/or other drugs.
This invention describes an enzyme that participates in the synthesis and stabilization of the cuticle. The expressed enzyme will be useful in inhibitor screens to develop novel compounds that either alone or in combination will be useful in treating parasitic diseases in humans and animals. In addition, these inhibitors may prove useful in agriculture to prevent crop damage from soil nematodes.