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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2009 Aug 25;3(8):e506. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000506.

Adenosine Kinase of T. b. Rhodesiense identified as the putative target of 4-[5-(4-phenoxyphenyl)-2H-pyrazol-3-yl]morpholine using chemical proteomics.

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1
Pharmaceutical Biochemistry Group, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), a major parasitic disease spread in Africa, urgently needs novel targets and new efficacious chemotherapeutic agents. Recently, we discovered that 4-[5-(4-phenoxyphenyl)-2H-pyrazol-3-yl]morpholine (compound 1) exhibits specific antitrypanosomal activity with an IC(50) of 1.0 microM on Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (T. b. rhodesiense), the causative agent of the acute form of HAT.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

In this work we show adenosine kinase of T. b. rhodesiense (TbrAK), a key enzyme of the parasite purine salvage pathway which is vital for parasite survival, to be the putative intracellular target of compound 1 using a chemical proteomics approach. This finding was confirmed by RNA interference experiments showing that down-regulation of adenosine kinase counteracts compound 1 activity. Further chemical validation demonstrated that compound 1 interacts specifically and tightly with TbrAK with nanomolar affinity, and in vitro activity measurements showed that compound 1 is an enhancer of TbrAK activity. The subsequent kinetic analysis provided strong evidence that the observed hyperactivation of TbrAK is due to the abolishment of the intrinsic substrate-inhibition.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The results suggest that TbrAK is the putative target of this compound, and that hyperactivation of TbrAK may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the development of trypanocides.

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