Prodrug activation by Cryptosporidium thymidine kinase

Xin Sun, a Biochemistry grad student from the Hedstrom Lab, discusses her recent paper in J. Biol. Chem.:

I get to say the word “diarrhea” within the first 1-2 sentences of
talking to a stranger about what I work on, and the look I get back is always amusing. We work on developing inhibitors against a human pathogen called Cryptosporidium parvum, a nasty little parasite that causes the aforementioned diarrhea. We specifically zoomed in on the parasite’s nucleotide synthesis pathways to look for potential drug targets. Our recent paper looked at the enyzme thymidine kinase from the parasite, and studied its role in activating a prodrug that we showed to be effective in reducing parasite load in both a cell culture assay,  and in a mouse model.

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