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Enzymatic Targets in Trypanosoma brucei

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Luciana Scotti, Francisco J.B. Mendonça, Marcelo S. da Silva and Marcus T. Scotti   Pages 243 - 259 ( 17 )

Abstract:


One of the most neglected disease is the Sleeping sickness or Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), which is mostly restricted to poor regions of Africa. The disease is caused by parasitic infection with Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei), and is acquired through the bite of the tsetse fly. In the first stage of the disease, the parasite is in the blood, but in stage 2, the infective form reaches the brain, causing great weakness and death. The few existing drugs against this infection, are highly toxic, and can cause the emergence of resistant forms of the parasite. Also, these drugs are not readily available. New drugs are needed. Many researchers are investigating new enzyme targets for the parasite, searching for more efficient and selective inhibitors that are capable to cause the parasite death with less toxicity to the host. Trypanothione reductase, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, 6-phospho-gluconate dehydrogenase, and UDP 4'-galactose epimerase are some of the enzymes involved in the studies reported on this review. In addition, we have applied ligandbased- virtual screening, using Random Forest associated with structure-based-virtual screening (docking), to a small dataset of 225 alkaloids from the Menispermaceae family (in-house data bank). The aim of this study is to select structures with potential inhibitory activity against trypanothione reductase from Trypanosoma brucei. The computer-aided drug design study selected certain alkaloids that might be worth further investigation.

Keywords:

Sleeping sickness, T. brucei, enzyme, docking, trypanothione reductase, target.

Affiliation:

Health Sciences Center, Federal University of Paraiba, Campus I, 58051-970, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil.

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