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An infective hookworm larva. Credit: Hazel Thompson/The New York Times

We've recently provided proof-of-principle that the small molecule inhibitor of cysteine proteases, K11777, near-cure of hookworm in a hamster model of infection in a single oral dose. We continue to explore cysteine protease inhibitor libraries for more potent inhibitors to test in our hamster model of infection. We are also examining other classes of small molecules available both in-house and through collaborators. Finally, we are studying the genetic and transcriptional variation among the putative cysteine protease targets.


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  • Genetic and transcriptional variation among putative cysteine protease targets
  • Cysteine protease inhibitor libraries
  • Other classes of small molecules
  •  K777



Cure of hookworm infection with a cysteine protease inhibitor. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(7):e1680. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001680. Epub 2012 Jul 3. Vermeire JJ, Lantz LD, Caffrey CR.

A multi-enzyme cascade of hemoglobin proteolysis in the intestine of blood-feeding hookworms. J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 20;279(34):35950-7. Epub 2004 Jun 15. Williamson AL, Lecchi P, Turk BE, Choe Y, Hotez PJ, McKerrow JH, Cantley LC, Sajid M, Craik CS, Loukas A.

Isolation and characterization of a proteolytic enzyme from the adult hookworm Ancylostoma caninum. J Biol Chem. 1985 Jun 25;260(12):7343-8. Hotez PJ, Trang NL, McKerrow JH, Cerami A.