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Positively selected modifications in the pore of TbAQP2 allow pentamidine to enter Trypanosoma brucei

Alghamdi, AH; Munday, JC; Campagnaro, GD; Gurvic, D; Svensson, F; Okpara, CE; Kumar, A; ... De Koning, HP; + view all (2020) Positively selected modifications in the pore of TbAQP2 allow pentamidine to enter Trypanosoma brucei. Elife , 9 , Article e56416. 10.7554/eLife.56416. Green open access

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Abstract

Mutations in the Trypanosoma brucei aquaporin AQP2 are associated with resistance to pentamidine and melarsoprol. We show that TbAQP2 but not TbAQP3 was positively selected for increased pore size from a common ancestor aquaporin. We demonstrate that TbAQP2’s unique architecture permits pentamidine permeation through its central pore and show how specific mutations in highly conserved motifs affect drug permeation. Introduction of key TbAQP2 amino acids into TbAQP3 renders the latter permeable to pentamidine. Molecular dynamics demonstrates that permeation by dicationic pentamidine is energetically favourable in TbAQP2, driven by the membrane potential, although aquaporins are normally strictly impermeable for ionic species. We also identify the structural determinants that make pentamidine a permeant although most other diamidine drugs are excluded. Our results have wide-ranging implications for optimising antitrypanosomal drugs and averting cross-resistance. Moreover, these new insights in aquaporin permeation may allow the pharmacological exploitation of other members of this ubiquitous gene family.

Type: Article
Title: Positively selected modifications in the pore of TbAQP2 allow pentamidine to enter Trypanosoma brucei
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.56416
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.56416
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118694
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