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A bestatin-based chemical biology strategy reveals distinct roles for malaria M1- and M17-family aminopeptidases

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posted on 11.12.2016, 22:54 authored by Sheena McGowan, M Klemba, DC Greenbaum
Malaria causes worldwide morbidity and mortality, and while chemotherapy remains an excellent means of malaria control, drug-resistant parasites necessitate the discovery of new antimalarials. Peptidases are a promising class of drug targets and perform several important roles during the P. falciparum erythrocytic life cycle. Herein, we report a multidisciplinary effort combining activity-based protein profiling, biochemical, and peptidomic approaches to functionally analyze two genetically essential P. falciparum metallo-aminopeptidases (MAPs), PfA-M1 and Pf-LAP. Through the synthesis of a suite of activity-based probes (ABPs) based on the general MAP inhibitor scaffold, bestatin, we generated specific ABPs for these two enzymes. Specific inhibition of PfA-M1 caused swelling of the parasite digestive vacuole and prevented proteolysis of hemoglobin (Hb)-derived oligopeptides, likely starving the parasite resulting in death. In contrast, inhibition of Pf-LAP was lethal to parasites early in the lifecycle, prior to the onset of Hb degradation suggesting that Pf-LAP has an essential role outside of Hb digestion.

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