A global comparison of the human and T. brucei degradomes gives insights about possible parasite drug targets

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(12):e1942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001942. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Abstract

We performed a genome-level computational study of sequence and structure similarity, the latter using crystal structures and models, of the proteases of Homo sapiens and the human parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Using sequence and structure similarity networks to summarize the results, we constructed global views that show visually the relative abundance and variety of proteases in the degradome landscapes of these two species, and provide insights into evolutionary relationships between proteases. The results also indicate how broadly these sequence sets are covered by three-dimensional structures. These views facilitate cross-species comparisons and offer clues for drug design from knowledge about the sequences and structures of potential drug targets and their homologs. Two protease groups ("M32" and "C51") that are very different in sequence from human proteases are examined in structural detail, illustrating the application of this global approach in mining new pathogen genomes for potential drug targets. Based on our analyses, a human ACE2 inhibitor was selected for experimental testing on one of these parasite proteases, TbM32, and was shown to inhibit it. These sequence and structure data, along with interactive versions of the protein similarity networks generated in this study, are available at http://babbittlab.ucsf.edu/resources.html.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptide Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / genetics*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / enzymology*

Substances

  • Peptide Hydrolases