Panacea within a Pandora's box: the antiparasitic effects of phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) from snake venoms

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2022-01-01

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Parasitic diseases affect millions of individuals worldwide, mainly in low-income regions. There is no cure for most of these diseases, and the treatment relies on drugs that have side effects and lead to drug resistance, emphasizing the urgency to find new treatments. Snake venom has been gaining prominence as a rich source of molecules with antiparasitic potentials, such as phospholipases A2 (PLA2s). Here, we compile the findings involving PLA2s with antiparasitic activities against helminths, Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, and trypanosomatids. We indicate their molecular features, highlighting the possible antiparasitic mechanisms of action of these proteins. We also demonstrate interactions between PLA2s and some parasite membrane components, shedding light on potential targets for drug design that may provide better treatment for the illnesses caused by parasites.

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Trends in Parasitology, v. 38, n. 1, p. 80-94, 2022.

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