Photoaffinity labeling of the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter with a novel perfluorophenylazido chloroquine.
ABSTRACT Several models describing how amino acid substitutions in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) confer resistance to chloroquine (CQ) and other antimalarial drugs have been proposed. Further progress requires molecular analysis of interactions between purified reconstituted PfCRT protein and these drugs. We have thus designed and synthesized several perfluorophenyl azido (pfpa) CQ analogues for PfCRT photolabeling studies. One particularly useful probe (AzBCQ) places the pfpa group at the terminal aliphatic N of CQ via a flexible four-carbon ester linker and includes a convenient biotin tag. This probe photolabels PfCRT in situ with high specificity. Using reconstituted proteoliposomes harboring partially purified recombinant PfCRT, we analyze AzBCQ photolabeling versus competition with CQ and other drugs to probe the nature of the CQ binding site. We also inspect how pH, the chemoreversal agent verapamil (VPL), and various amino acid mutations in PfCRT that cause CQ resistance (CQR) affect the efficiency of AzBCQ photolabeling. Upon gel isolation of AzBCQ-labeled PfCRT followed by trypsin digestion and mass spectrometry analysis, we are able to define a single AzBCQ covalent attachment site lying within the digestive vacuolar-disposed loop between putative helices 9 and 10 of PfCRT. Taken together, the data provide important new insight into PfCRT function and, along with previous results, allow us to propose a model for a single CQ binding site in the PfCRT protein.
Article: Deciphering the Resistance-Counteracting Functions of Ferroquine in Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Erythrocytes.ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 04/2012;