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Title: Molecular characterization of Plasmodium falciparum uracil-DNA glycosylase and its potential as a new anti-malarial drug target
Authors: Thidarat Suksangpleng
Ubolsree Leartsakulpanich
Saengduen Moonsom
Saranya Siribal
Usa Boonyuen
Wright, George E
Porntip Chavalitshewinkoon-Petmitr
Mahidol University. Faculty of Tropical Medicine. Department of Protozoology,
Keywords: Open Access article;Plasmodium falciparum;Malaria;Uracil-DNA glycosylase;Antimalarials;Drug target
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Malaria Journal. Vol.13, (2014), 149
Abstract: Background: Based on resistance of currently used anti-malarials, a new anti-malarial drug target against Plasmodium falciparum is urgently needed. Damaged DNA cannot be transcribed without prior DNA repair; therefore, uracil-DNA glycosylase, playing an important role in base excision repair, may act as a candidate for a new anti-malarial drug target. Methods: Initially, the native PfUDG from parasite crude extract was partially purified using two columns, and the glycosylase activity was monitored. The existence of malarial UDG activity prompted the recombinant expression of PfUDG for further characterization. The PfUDG from chloroquine and pyrimethamine resistant P. falciparum strain K1 was amplified, cloned into the expression vector, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant PfUDG was analysed by SDS-PAGE and identified by LC-MS/MS. The three dimensional structure was modelled. Biochemical properties were characterized. Inhibitory effects of 12 uracil-derivatives on PfUDG activity were investigated. Inhibition of parasite growth was determined in vitro using SYBR Green I and compared with results from human cytotoxicity tests. Results: The native PfUDG was partially purified with a specific activity of 1,811.7 units/mg (113.2 fold purification). After cloning of 966-bp PCR product, the 40-kDa hexa-histidine tagged PfUDG was expressed and identified. The amino acid sequence of PfUDG showed only 24.8% similarity compared with the human enzyme. The biochemical characteristics of PfUDGs were quite similar. They were inhibited by uracil glycosylase inhibitor protein as found in other organisms. Interestingly, recombinant PfUDG was inhibited by two uracil-derived compounds; 1-methoxyethyl-6-(p-n-octylanilino) uracil (IC50 of 16.75 μM) and 6-(phenylhydrazino)uracil (IC50 of 77.5 μM). Both compounds also inhibited parasite growth with IC50s of 15.6 and 12.8 μM, respectively. Moreover, 1-methoxyethyl-6-(p-n-octylanilino)uracil was not toxic to HepG2 cells, with IC50 of > 160 μM while 6-(phenylhydrazino)uracil exhibited cytoxicity, with IC50 of 27.5 μM. Conclusions: The recombinant PfUDG was expressed, characterized and compared to partially purified native PfUDG. Their characteristics were not significantly different. PfUDG differs from human enzyme in its size and predicted amino acid sequence. Two uracil derivatives inhibited PfUDG and parasite growth; however, only one non-cytotoxic compound was found. Therefore, this selective compound can act as a lead compound for anti-malarial development in the future.
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