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Int J Biol Macromol. 2011 Nov 1;49(4):767-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2011.07.011. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Structural analysis of chorismate synthase from Plasmodium falciparum: a novel target for antimalaria drug discovery.

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Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India.


The shikimate pathway in Plasmodium falciparum provides several targets for designing novel antiparasitic agents for the treatment of malaria. Chorismate synthase (CS) is a key enzyme in the shikimate pathway which catalyzes the seventh and final step of the pathway. P. falciparum chorismate synthase (PfCS) is unique in terms of enzymatic behavior, cellular localization and in having two additional amino acid inserts compared to any other CS. The structure of PfCS along with cofactor FMN was predicted by homology modeling using crystal structure of Helicobacter pylori chorismate synthase (HpCS). The quality of the model was validated using structure analysis servers and molecular dynamics. Dimeric form of PfCS was generated and the FMN binding mechanism involving movement of loop near active site has been proposed. Active site pocket has been identified and substrate 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) along with screened potent inhibitors has been docked. The study resulted in identification of putative inhibitors of PfCS with binding efficiency in nanomolar range. The selected putative inhibitors could lead to the development of anti-malarial drugs.

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