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Hybrid Inhibitors of Malarial Dihydrofolate Reductase with Dual Binding Modes That Can Forestall Resistance

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journal contribution
posted on 07.11.2018, 00:00 authored by Bongkoch Tarnchompoo, Penchit Chitnumsub, Aritsara Jaruwat, Philip J. Shaw, Jarunee Vanichtanankul, Sinothai Poen, Roonglawan Rattanajak, Chayaphat Wongsombat, Aunchalee Tonsomboon, Sasithorn Decharuangsilp, Tosapol Anukunwithaya, Uthai Arwon, Sumalee Kamchonwongpaisan, Yongyuth Yuthavong
The S108N mutation of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) renders Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites resistant to pyrimethamine through steric clash with the rigid side chain of the inhibitor. Inhibitors with flexible side chains can avoid this clash and retain effectiveness against the mutant. However, other mutations such as N108S reversion confer resistance to flexible inhibitors. We designed and synthesized hybrid inhibitors with two structural types in a single molecule, which are effective against both wild-type and multiple mutants of P. falciparum through their selective target binding, as demonstrated by X-ray crystallography. Furthermore, the hybrid inhibitors can forestall the emergence of new resistant mutants, as shown by selection of mutants resistant to hybrid compound BT1 from a diverse PfDHFR random mutant library expressed in a surrogate bacterial system. These results show that it is possible to develop effective antifolate antimalarials to which the range of parasite resistance mutations is greatly reduced.