Abstract

Glutathione reductase from trypanosomes and leishmanias, unlike glutathione reductase from other organisms, requires an unusual low molecular weight cofactor for activity. The cofactor was purified from the insect trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata and identified as a novel glutathione-spermidine conjugate, N1,N8-bis(L-gamma-glutamyl-L-hemicystinyl-glycyl)spermidine, for which the trivial name trypanothione is proposed. This discovery may open a new chemotherapeutic approach to trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis.

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