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The worm turns

点击量:   时间:2019-03-06 12:07:04

A MOLECULAR trick that prevents a parasitic worm being digested in the gut has been uncovered. Surprisingly, the finding could lead to new treatments for high blood pressure and cancer. Michael James and his colleagues at the University of Alberta in Edmonton studied the worm Ascaris lumbricoides, which infects about a billion people worldwide. They discovered how pepsin inhibitor-3, a protective protein secreted by the worm stifles pepsin—an enzyme that would otherwise destroy it (Nature Structural Biology, vol 7, p 653). “It effectively cloaks the pepsin so its active site is virtually inaccessible,