Interactions of Pyrimidine Derivatives with Dihydrofolate Reductase and Thymidylate Synthase: Directions Toward Combating toxoplasmosis
Letícia C. Assis, Letícia Santos-Garcia, Teodorico C. Ramalho and Elaine F. F. da Cunha
Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Lavras, 37200-000 Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is the most common cause of secondary central nervous system infection in
immunocompromised persons such as AIDS patients. Dihydrofolate reductase and thymidylate synthase enzymes have
been studied as attractive targets against parasitic diseases, since they are involved in cell proliferation and influence on
DNA synthesis. In this paper, we propose three-dimensional structures of T. gondii dihydrofolate reductase and thymidylate
synthase based on homology modeling. In addition, we assessed the interaction mode of pyrimidine analogs in the active
site of T. gondii and human enzymes, in order to direct the planning of new compounds that can be used against
toxoplasmosis. According to the docking studies, predicted pIC50 values for proposed compounds were higher than those
of the experimentally most active compound.
Keywords: Molecular modeling, toxoplasmosis, dihydrofolate reductase and thymidylate synthase.
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