Structural Parasitology

What is structural parasitology?

It is basically the study of protein structures in a parasite. The specification of the parasite would then help in the assessment of the disease and will help us to better understand how these proteins function differently from homologous proteins found in humans.

It would also help in the discovery of new drugs that would help prevent the disease. Many parasitic proteins are resistant to crystalisation as they contain inserts that are not commonly found in humans or prokaryotic proteins.

There are two organisations that have contributed many parasite structures: the MSGPP (Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa) and SGC (Structural Genomics Consortium).

These groups work on different proteins, mainly human proteins.

Structural parasitology would help in drug discovery.



MSGPP (Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa)



Special Characteristics:

  • Use protein structure prediction methods and medical relevance in target selection.
  • Rapid evaluation of expression levels and solubility of thousands of variants of proteins obtained by scrambled sequences from different Leishmania strains.
  • Using two hybrid methods to discover and solve structures of soluble heteromultimers.
  • Using ligand docking procedures, deep sequence family alignments and very weak structural homologies to derive function from structure.


Project Description:

Structural and Functional Genomics is characterized as a parallel attack on many proteins simultaneously, HT protein expression, HT protein crystallization, HT structure determination, and cherry picking in the first pass.

Their main purpose is to analyze the three dimensional structures of various parasites from major global pathogenic protozoa.


Structural Genomics Consortium



The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a not-for-profit organization that aims to determine the three dimensional structures of proteins of medical relevance, and place them in the public domain without res