This review presents an updated overview of research concerning Leishmania protein structures, primarily sourced from the Protein Data Bank (PDB), that play a role in the metabolic pathways of the Leishmania parasite. Furthermore, we assess the current progress in the identification and development of bioactive chemical agents aimed at addressing this substantially overlooked tropical disease. We have analyzed experimental data obtained from in vitro, in vivo and in silico sources. This data has been categorized into four main areas: a) vector taxonomy and geographic distribution; b) parasite taxonomy and geographic distribution; c) enzymatic functions of proteins engaged in parasite/host interactions throughout various developmental stages (such as oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, ligases, and cytokines); and d) established and experimental treatments employing bioactive chemical compounds. Our objective is to establish a foundational point of reference for research efforts concentrating on the elucidation of interaction mechanisms and the processes of ligand-protein activation/inactivation, specifically linked to Leishmania infections. Consequently, we emphasize enzymes recognized for their involvement in the biochemical pathways incited during Leishmania infection episodes. This review encapsulates the current understanding, offering insights to inform and direct future explorations aimed at targeting proteins and pathways to enhance the management of Leishmania-related diseases.
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