Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a superfamily of structurally conserved proteins that inhibit serine proteases and play key physiological roles in numerous biological systems such as blood coagulation, complement activation and inflammation. A number of serpins have now been identified in parasitic helminths with putative involvement in immune regulation and in parasite survival through interference with the host immune response. This review describes the serpins and smapins (small serine protease inhibitors) that have been identified in Ascaris spp., Brugia malayi, Ancylostoma caninum Onchocerca volvulus, Haemonchus contortus, Trichinella spiralis, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, Anisakis simplex, Trichuris suis, Schistosoma spp., Clonorchis sinensis, Paragonimus westermani and Echinococcus spp. and discusses their possible biological functions, including roles in host-parasite interplay and their evolutionary relationships.
- parasitic helminths
- serine protease inhibitors
- small serine protease inhibitors
- smapins biochemical characterization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Infectious Diseases