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Enzyme Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 392082, 10 pages
Review Article

Phospholipases A in Trypanosomatids

Departamento de Microbiología, Parasitología e Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, piso 13, C1121ABG Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 23 December 2010; Accepted 7 February 2011

Academic Editor: Claudio Alejandro Pereira

Copyright © 2011 María Laura Belaunzarán et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phospholipases are a complex and important group of enzymes widespread in nature, that play crucial roles in diverse biochemical processes and are classified as A1, A2, C, and D. Phospholipases A1 and A2 activities have been linked to pathogenesis in various microorganisms, and particularly in pathogenic protozoa they have been implicated in cell invasion. Kinetoplastids are a group of flagellated protozoa, including extra- and intracellular parasites that cause severe disease in humans and animals. In the present paper, we will mainly focus on the three most important kinetoplastid human pathogens, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania spp., giving a perspective of the research done up to now regarding biochemical, biological, and molecular characteristics of Phospholipases A1 and A2 and their contribution to pathogenesis.