Over-expression, purification and biochemical characterization of DOXP reductoisomerase and the rational design of novel anti-malarial drugs

Tanner, Delia Caroline (2004) Over-expression, purification and biochemical characterization of DOXP reductoisomerase and the rational design of novel anti-malarial drugs. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Malaria poses the greatest threat of all parasites to human life. Current vaccines and efficacious drugs are available however their use is limited due to toxicity, emergence of drug resistance, and cost. The discovery of an alternative pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, the non-mevalonate pathway, within the malarial parasite has resulted in development of novel anti-malarial drugs. 1-Deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (DOXP) reductoisomerase, the second enzyme in this pathway, is responsible for the synthesis of 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) in an intramolecular rearrangement step followed by a reduction process involving NADPH as a hydrogen donor and divalent cations as co-factors. Fosmidomycin and FR900098 have been identified as inhibitors of DOXP reductoisomerase. However, they lack clinical efficacy. In this investigation recombinant DOXP reductoisomerase from Escherichia coli (EcDXR) and Plasmodium falciparum (pfDXR) were biochemically characterized as potential targets for inhibition. (His)6-EcDXR was successfully purified using nickel-chelate affinity chromatography with a specific activity of 1.77 μmoles/min/mg and Km value 282 μM. Utilizing multiple sequence alignment, previous structural data predictions and homology modeling approaches, critical active site amino acid residues were identified and their role in the catalytic activity investigated utilizing site-directed mutagenesis techniques. We have shown evidence that suggests that Trp212 and Met214 interact to maintain the active site architecture and hydrophobic interactions necessary for substrate binding, cofactor binding and enzyme activity. Replacement of Trp212 with Tyr, Phe, and Leu reduced specific activity relative to EcDXR. EcDXR(W212F) and EcDXR(W212Y) had an increased Km relative to EcDXR indicative of loss in affinity toward DOXP, whereas EcDXR(W212L) had a lower Km of ~8 μM indicative of increased affinity for DOXP. The W212L substitution possibly removed contacts necessary for full catalytic activity, but could be considered a non-disruptive substitution in that it maintained active site architecture sufficient for DOXP reductoisomerase activity. EcDXR(M214I) had 36-fold reduced enzyme activity relative to EcDXR, while its Km (~8 μM) was found to be lower than that of EcDXR. This suggested that the M214I substitution had maintained (perhaps improved) substrate and active site architecture, but may have perturbed interactions with NADPH. Rational drug design strategies and docking methods have been utilized in the development of furan derivatives as DOXP reductoisomerase inhibitors, and the synthesis of phosphorylated derivatives (5) and (6) has been achieved. Future inhibitor studies using these novel potential DOXP reductoisomerase inhibitors may lead to the development of effective anti-malarial drug candidates.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Malaria, Antimalarials, Proteins, Amino acids
Subjects:Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD241 Organic chemistry > QD415 Biochemistry
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
ID Code:2712
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:25 Apr 2012 12:52
Last Modified:25 Apr 2012 12:52
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