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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Target Sites for the Design of Anti-trypanosomatid Drugs Based on the Structure of Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase

Author(s): Matheus Pinto Pinheiro, Flavio da Silva Emery and M. Cristina Nonato

Volume 19, Issue 14, 2013

Page: [2615 - 2627] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1381612811319140011

Price: $65


Trypanosomatids consist of a large group of flagellated parasitic protozoa, including parasites from the genera Leishmania and Trypanosoma, responsible for causing infections in millions of humans worldwide and for which currently no appropriate therapy is available. The significance of pyrimidines in cellular metabolism makes their de novo and salvage pathways ideal druggable targets for pharmacological intervention and open an opportunity for pharmaceutical innovation. In the current review, we discuss the merits in targeting the enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a flavin-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the fourth and only redox step in pyrimidine de novo biosynthesis, as a strategy for the development of efficient therapeutic strategies for trypanosomatid-related diseases. We also describe the advances and perspectives from the structural biology point of view in order to unravel the structure-function relationship of trypanosomatid DHODHs, and to identify and validate target sites for drug development.

Keywords: Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, trypanosomatids, Leishmania major, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, sites for drug discovery

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