[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei is a parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). The parasites depend on the cyanide-insensitive trypanosome alternative oxidase (TAO) for their vital aerobic respiration. Ascofuranone (AF), a potent and specific sub-nanomolar inhibitor of the TAO quinol oxidase, is a potential novel drug with selectivity for HAT, because mammalian hosts lack the enzyme. To elucidate not only the inhibition mechanism but also the inhibitor-enzyme interaction, AF derivatives were designed and synthesized, and the structure-activity relationship was evaluated. Here we identified the pharmacophore of AF that interacts with TAO. The detailed inhibitory profiles indicated that the 1-formyl and 6-hydroxyl groups, which might contribute to intramolecular hydrogen bonding and/or serve as hydrogen-bonding donors, were responsible for direct interaction with the enzyme.
Journal of biochemistry 11/2012; · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and T. b. gambiense are known causes of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), or "sleeping sickness," which is deadly if untreated. We previously reported that a specific inhibitor of trypanosome alternative oxidase (TAO), ascofuranone, quickly kills African trypanosomes in vitro and cures mice infected with another subspecies, non-human infective T. b. brucei, in in vivo trials. As an essential factor for trypanosome survival, TAO is a promising drug target due to the absence of alternative oxidases in the mammalian host. This study found TAO expression in HAT-causing trypanosomes; its amino acid sequence was identical to that in non-human infective T. b. brucei. The biochemical understanding of the TAO including its 3 dimensional structure and inhibitory compounds against TAO could therefore be applied to all three T. brucei subspecies in search of a cure for HAT. Our in vitro study using T. b. rhodesiense confirmed the effectiveness of ascofuranone (IC(50) value: 1 nM) to eliminate trypanosomes in human infective strain cultures.
Parasitology International 12/2010; 59(4):560-4. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The trypanosome alternative oxidase (TAO) functions in the African trypanosomes as a cytochrome-independent terminal oxidase, which is essential for their survival in the mammalian host and as it does not exist in the mammalian host is considered to be a promising drug target for the treatment of trypanosomiasis. In the present study, recombinant TAO (rTAO) overexpressed in a haem-deficient Escherichia coli strain has been solubilized from E. coli membranes and purified to homogeneity in a stable and highly active form. Analysis of bound iron detected by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) reveals a stoichiometry of two bound iron atoms per monomer of rTAO. Confirmation that the rTAO was indeed a diiron protein was obtained by EPR analysis which revealed a signal, in the reduced forms of rTAO, with a g-value of 15. The kinetics of ubiquiol-1 oxidation by purified rTAO showed typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics (K(m) of 338microM and V(max) of 601micromol/min/mg), whereas ubiquinol-2 oxidation showed unusual substrate inhibition. The specific inhibitor, ascofuranone, inhibited the enzyme in a mixed-type inhibition manner with respect to ubiquinol-1.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2010; 1797(4):443-50. · 4.66 Impact Factor