Table of Contents
Journal of Signal Transduction
Volume 2011, Article ID 971968, 16 pages
Review Article

Parasite Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases as Drug Discovery Targets to Treat Human Protozoan Pathogens

Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, and Program in Immunology and Microbiology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

Received 16 August 2010; Revised 12 November 2010; Accepted 7 December 2010

Academic Editor: M. Gaestel

Copyright © 2011 Michael J. Brumlik 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.


Protozoan pathogens are a highly diverse group of unicellular organisms, several of which are significant human pathogens. One group of protozoan pathogens includes obligate intracellular parasites such as agents of malaria, leishmaniasis, babesiosis, and toxoplasmosis. The other group includes extracellular pathogens such as agents of giardiasis and amebiasis. An unfortunate unifying theme for most human protozoan pathogens is that highly effective treatments for them are generally lacking. We will review targeting protozoan mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) as a novel drug discovery approach towards developing better therapies, focusing on Plasmodia, Leishmania, and Toxoplasma, about which the most is known.