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      Identification of New Antifungal Compounds Targeting Thioredoxin Reductase of Paracoccidioides Genus


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          The prevalence of invasive fungal infections worldwide has increased in the last decades. The development of specific drugs targeting pathogenic fungi without producing collateral damage to mammalian cells is a daunting pharmacological challenge. Indeed, many of the toxicities and drug interactions observed with contemporary antifungal therapies can be attributed to “nonselective” interactions with enzymes or cell membrane systems found in mammalian host cells. A computer-aided screening strategy against the TRR1 protein of Paracoccidioides lutzii is presented here. Initially, a bank of commercially available compounds from Life Chemicals provider was docked to model by virtual screening simulations. The small molecules that interact with the model were ranked and, among the best hits, twelve compounds out of 3,000 commercially-available candidates were selected. These molecules were synthesized for validation and in vitro antifungal activity assays for Paracoccidioides lutzii and P. brasiliensis were performed. From 12 molecules tested, 3 harbor inhibitory activity in antifungal assays against the two pathogenic fungi. Corroborating these findings, the molecules have inhibitory activity against the purified recombinant enzyme TRR1 in biochemical assays. Therefore, a rational combination of molecular modeling simulations and virtual screening of new drugs has provided a cost-effective solution to an early-stage medicinal challenge. These results provide a promising technique to the development of new and innovative drugs.

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          Most cited references 68

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          LIGPLOT: a program to generate schematic diagrams of protein-ligand interactions.

          The LIGPLOT program automatically generates schematic 2-D representations of protein-ligand complexes from standard Protein Data Bank file input. The output is a colour, or black-and-white, PostScript file giving a simple and informative representation of the intermolecular interactions and their strengths, including hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions and atom accessibilities. The program is completely general for any ligand and can also be used to show other types of interaction in proteins and nucleic acids. It was designed to facilitate the rapid inspection of many enzyme complexes, but has found many other applications.
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            Physiological functions of thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase.

            Thioredoxin, thioredoxin reductase and NADPH, the thioredoxin system, is ubiquitous from Archea to man. Thioredoxins, with a dithiol/disulfide active site (CGPC) are the major cellular protein disulfide reductases; they therefore also serve as electron donors for enzymes such as ribonucleotide reductases, thioredoxin peroxidases (peroxiredoxins) and methionine sulfoxide reductases. Glutaredoxins catalyze glutathione-disulfide oxidoreductions overlapping the functions of thioredoxins and using electrons from NADPH via glutathione reductase. Thioredoxin isoforms are present in most organisms and mitochondria have a separate thioredoxin system. Plants have chloroplast thioredoxins, which via ferredoxin-thioredoxin reductase regulates photosynthetic enzymes by light. Thioredoxins are critical for redox regulation of protein function and signaling via thiol redox control. A growing number of transcription factors including NF-kappaB or the Ref-1-dependent AP1 require thioredoxin reduction for DNA binding. The cytosolic mammalian thioredoxin, lack of which is embryonically lethal, has numerous functions in defense against oxidative stress, control of growth and apoptosis, but is also secreted and has co-cytokine and chemokine activities. Thioredoxin reductase is a specific dimeric 70-kDa flavoprotein in bacteria, fungi and plants with a redox active site disulfide/dithiol. In contrast, thioredoxin reductases of higher eukaryotes are larger (112-130 kDa), selenium-dependent dimeric flavoproteins with a broad substrate specificity that also reduce nondisulfide substrates such as hydroperoxides, vitamin C or selenite. All mammalian thioredoxin reductase isozymes are homologous to glutathione reductase and contain a conserved C-terminal elongation with a cysteine-selenocysteine sequence forming a redox-active selenenylsulfide/selenolthiol active site and are inhibited by goldthioglucose (aurothioglucose) and other clinically used drugs.
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              Attributable mortality of nosocomial candidemia, revisited.

              We reexamined the attributable mortality of nosocomial candidemia 15 years after a retrospective cohort study performed at our hospital demonstrated an attributable mortality of 38%. For all episodes of nosocomial candidemia between 1 July 1997 and 30 June 2001, we matched control patients with case patients by age, sex, date of hospital admission, underlying disease(s), length of time at risk, and surgical procedure(s). We analyzed 108 matched pairs. There were no statistically significant differences in age, sex, underlying disease(s), time at risk, surgical procedure, or vital signs at admission between cases and controls. The crude mortality among case patients was 61% (66 of 108 patients), compared with 12% (13 of 108) among control patients, for an attributable mortality of 49% (95% CI, 38%-60%). Nosocomial candidemia is still associated with an extremely high crude and attributable mortality--much higher than that expected from underlying disease alone.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                16 November 2015
                : 10
                : 11
                [1 ]Department of Biology, University of Mato Grosso State - UNEMAT, Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil
                [2 ]Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
                [3 ]LORIA, Lorraine University, Nancy, France
                [4 ]Embrapa - Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil
                [5 ]Department of Cellular Biology, University of Brasília - UnB, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil
                Louisiana State University, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: AKRA ESK VL NFM BM MSSF. Performed the experiments: AKRA ESK VL BM. Analyzed the data: AKRA ESK VL NFM BM MSSF. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: AKRA ESK VL NFM BM MSSF. Wrote the paper: AKRA ESK VL NFM BM MSSF.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, Pages: 18
                The funding was supported by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) ( http://www.cnpq.br/) and FAP-DF (Fundação de Apoio a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal) ( http://www.fap.df.gov.br/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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