Reaction hijacking of tyrosine tRNA synthetase as a new whole-of-life-cycle antimalarial strategy

03 Jun 2022

Xie SC, Metcalfe RD, Dunn E, Morton CJ, Huang SC, Puhalovich T, Du Y, Wittlin S, Nie S, Luth MR, Ma L, Kim MS, Pasaje CFA, Kumpornsin K, Giannangelo C, Houghton FJ, Churchyard A, Famodimu MT, Barry DC, Gillett DL, Dey S, Kosasih CC, Newman W, Niles JC, Lee MCS, Baum J, Ottilie S, Winzeler EA, Creek DJ, Williamson N, Parker MW, Brand S, Langston SP, Dick LR, Griffin MDW, Gould AE, Tilley L

PMID: 35653481

Doi: 10.1126/science.abn0611



Aminoacyl transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetases (aaRSs) are attractive drug targets, and we present class I and II aaRSs as previously unrecognized targets for adenosine 5'-monophosphate-mimicking nucleoside sulfamates. The target enzyme catalyzes the formation of an inhibitory amino acid-sulfamate conjugate through a reaction-hijacking mechanism. We identified adenosine 5'-sulfamate as a broad-specificity compound that hijacks a range of aaRSs and ML901 as a specific reagent a specific reagent that hijacks a single aaRS in the malaria parasite , namely tyrosine RS (YRS). ML901 exerts whole-life-cycle-killing activity with low nanomolar potency and single-dose efficacy in a mouse model of malaria. X-ray crystallographic studies of plasmodium and human YRSs reveal differential flexibility of a loop over the catalytic site that underpins differential susceptibility to reaction hijacking by ML901.

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