An-Najah National University


My Research Interests: 1) Genetic Diseases 2)Drug development against parasitic diseases based on molecular and biochemical techniques

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  • Thursday, February 26, 2009
  • Lüersen K, Müller S, Hussein A, Liebau E, Walter RD. The gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase of Onchocerca volvulus. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2000 Dec;111(2):243-51.
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  • The tripeptide glutathione (GSH) plays an important role in the maintenance of the intracellular thiol redox state and in detoxification processes. The intracellular GSH level depends on glutathione reductase as well as on GSH synthesis. The first and rate limiting step in the synthetic pathway is catalysed by gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS). The gamma-GCS was partially purified from the filarial parasite Onchocerca volvoulus and preliminary steady state kinetics were performed. The Ki-value for L-buthionine-S,R-sulphoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of gamma-GCS, was determined to be 0.13 microM, which is 54-fold lower than the Ki-value for the mammalian enzyme. Filarial gamma-GCS was also inhibited by cystamine with a Ki-value of 3.9 microM compared with 22.2 microM determined for the rat enzyme. Further, the cDNA and the gene of the O. volvulus gamma-GCS were cloned and sequenced. The gene of 5762 bp is composed of 14 exons and 13 introns. Southern blot analysis indicates that the gamma-GCS gene is present as a single-copy gene. In accordance with Northern blot analysis, the entire cDNA sequence encompasses 2377 bp. At its 5' end a nematode-specific spliced leader 130 bp upstream of the first in frame methionine was identified. The cDNA encodes a polypeptide of 652 amino acids with 50 and 69% sequence identity to the human and the Caenorhabditis elegans counterparts, respectively. The filarial gamma-GCS is proposed as a potential drug target.

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Ayman Hussein, Associate Professor
Biochemistry of Parasites
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