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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2012 Feb;181(2):178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

The crystal structure of Leishmania major N(5),N(10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase/cyclohydrolase and assessment of a potential drug target.

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1
Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.

Abstract

Three enzyme activities in the protozoan Leishmania major, namely N(5),N(10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase/N(5),N(10)-methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase (DHCH) and N(10)-formyltetrahydrofolate ligase (FTL) produce the essential intermediate N(10)-formyltetrahydrofolate. Although trypanosomatids possess at least one functional DHCH, the same is not true for FTL, which is absent in Trypanosoma brucei. Here, we present the 2.7 Å resolution crystal structure of the bifunctional apo-DHCH from L. major, which is a potential drug target. Sequence alignments show that the cytosolic enzymes found in trypanosomatids share a high level of identity of approximately 60%. Additionally, residues that interact and participate in catalysis in the human homologue are conserved amongst trypanosomatid sequences and this may complicate attempts to derive potent, parasite specific DHCH inhibitors.

PMID:
22108435
PMCID:
PMC3368264
DOI:
10.1016/j.molbiopara.2011.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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