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Identification of a peptide derived from a Bothrops moojeni metalloprotease with in vitro inhibitory action on the Plasmodium falciparum purine nucleoside phosphorylase enzyme (PfPNP)

Martins, Gracianny Gomes, de Jesus Holanda, Rudson, Alfonso, Jorge, Gómez Garay, Ana Fidelina, dos Santos, Ana Paula de Azevedo, de Lima, Anderson Maciel, Francisco, Aleff Ferreira, Garcia Teles, Carolina Bioni, Zanchi, Fernando Berton, Soares, Andreimar Martins
Biochimie 2019 v.162 pp. 97-106
Bothrops, Plasmodium falciparum, active sites, antimalarials, antiparasitic properties, binding capacity, casein, catalytic activity, cation exchange, cation exchange chromatography, enzyme activity, in vitro studies, inhibitory concentration 50, metalloproteinases, nucleosides, parasites, peptides, phosphates, phosphorylase, planning, proteolysis, screening
There is a growing need for research on new antimalarial agents against Plasmodium falciparum infection, especially in regards to planning molecular architecture for specific molecular targets of the parasite. Thus, a metalloprotease from Bothrops moojeni, known as BmooMPα-I, was explored in this study, through in silico assays, aiming at the development of a peptide generated from this molecule with potential inhibitory action on PfPNP, an enzyme necessary for the survival of the parasite. In order to isolate BmooMPα-I, cation exchange and reverse phase chromatographies were performed, followed by in vitro assays of antiparasitic activity against the W2 strain of P. falciparum. The interactions between BmooMPα-I and PfPNP were evaluated via docking, and the resulting peptide, described as Pep1 BM, was selected according to the BmooMPα-I region demonstrating the best interaction score with the target of interest. The values for the specific activities of the PfPNP reaction were measured using the inorganic phosphate substrate and MESG. The fraction corresponding to BmooMPα-I was identified as fraction 4 in the cation exchange chromatography step, due to proteolytic activity on casein and the presence of a major band at ≅ 23 kDa. BmooMPα-I was able to inhibit in vitro growth of W2 P. falciparum, with an IC50 value of 16.14 μg/mL. Virtual screening with Pep1 BM demonstrated two PfPNP target binding regions, with ΔG values at the interaction interface of −10.75 kcal/mol and −11.74 kcal/mol. A significant reduction in the enzymatic activity of PfPNP was observed in the presence of Pep 1 BM when compared to the assay in the absence of this possible inhibitor. BmooMPα-I showed activity in vitro against W2 P. falciparum. By means of in silico techniques, the Pep 1 BM was identified as having potential binding affinity to the catalytic site of PfPNP and of inhibiting its catalytic activity in vitro.