BACKGROUND: Multi-target approaches are necessary to properly analyze or modify the function of a biochemical pathway or a protein family. An example of such a problem is the repurposing of the known human anti-cancer drugs, antifolates, as selective anti-parasitic agents. This requires considering a set of experimentally validated protein targets in the folate pathway of major pathogenic trypanosomatid parasites and humans: (i) the primary parasite on-targets: pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) (absent in humans) and bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS), (ii) the primary off-targets: human DHFR and TS, and (iii) the secondary on-target: human folate receptor beta, a folate/antifolate transporter. METHODS: We computationally compared the structural, dynamic and physico-chemical properties of the targets. We based our analysis on available inhibitory activity and crystallographic data, including a crystal structure of the bifunctional T. cruzi DHFR-TS with tetrahydrofolate bound determined in this work. Due to the low sequence and structural similarity of the targets analyzed, we employed a mapping of binding pockets based on the known common ligands, folate and methotrexate. RESULTS: Our analysis provides a set of practical strategies for the design of selective trypanosomatid folate pathway inhibitors, which are supported by enzyme inhibition measurements and crystallographic structures. CONCLUSIONS: The ligand-based comparative computational mapping of protein binding pockets provides a basis for repurposing of anti-folates and the design of new anti-trypanosmatid agents. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Apart from the target-based discovery of selective compounds, our approach may be also applied for protein engineering or analyzing evolutionary relationships in protein families.
PubMed ID: 28939533
Publication type: Journal
Journal: Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj
Citation: Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2017 Dec;1861(12):3215-3230. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2017.09.012. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
Date Published: 25th Sep 2017
Registered Mode: by PubMed ID
Created: 22nd Jul 2020 at 17:17