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Investigation of small molecules binding to UDP-galactose 4'-epimerase: A validated drug target for Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite responsible for African Sleeping Sickness.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biochemistry.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

African sleeping sickness is a parasitic infection spread by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, and drugs used today are toxic and painful. Galactose metabolism is essential for the survival of T. brucei and without a functional UDP galactose 4’ epimerase (GalE) galactose starvation occurs and cell death will follow. In this Master thesis project two assays observing binding of small molecules to TbGalE has been investigated in attempt to establish an assay that in the future could be used for screening for drugs.

TbGalE was biotinylated through the Pinpoint Xa vector and expressed in E. coli cells. The protein was successfully immobilized to a Streptavidin chip for Surface Plasmon Resonance experiments and the binding of the substrates UDP-galactose and UDP-glucose was observed. Unfortunately, the assay was not optimal for screening due to low signal response. However, the established protocol for expressing biotinylated proteins that bind to Streptavidin surfaces could be used in further experiments with TbGalE and other drug targets for African sleeping sickness.

The fluorescent sugar nucleotide analogue UDPAmNS, which is a known inhibitor for E. coli GalE, was synthesised and purified and then used to establish a displacement assay. IC50 of UDPAmNS against TbGalE was determined and a synergic effect in fluorescence between the protein and the inhibitor was proven. Further, evidence for a reduction in fluorescence by displacing UDPAmNS with UDP was obtained. This reduction in fluorescence was also shown by a predicted cofactor inhibitor. The IC50 against TbGalE for this compound was determined before the displacement assay, which showed that the cofactor inhibitor, at least partly, binds to the active site of TbGalE. The UDPAmNS displacement assay could have the potential of becoming a robust screening assay for TbGalE, in the effort to find a better drug for African sleeping sickness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
African Sleeping Sickness, Trypanosoma brucei, UDP-galactose 4'-epimerase, binding assays
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20013ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--09/2197--SEOAI: diva2:232528
Subject / course
2009-06-05, Linköping, 00:00 (Swedish)
Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Available from: 2009-08-24 Created: 2009-08-24 Last updated: 2011-07-08Bibliographically approved

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