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Structural analysis of dihydrofolate reductases enables rationalization of antifolate binding affinities and suggests repurposing possibilities

Bhosle, Amrisha and Chandra, Nagasuma (2016) Structural analysis of dihydrofolate reductases enables rationalization of antifolate binding affinities and suggests repurposing possibilities. In: FEBS JOURNAL, 283 (6). pp. 1139-1167.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.13662


Antifolates are competitive inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase ( DHFR), a conserved enzyme that is central to metabolism and widely targeted in pathogenic diseases, cancer and autoimmune disorders. Although most clinically used antifolates are known to be target specific, some display a fair degree of cross-reactivity with DHFRs from other species. A method that enables identification of determinants of affinity and specificity in target DHFRs from different species and provides guidelines for the design of antifolates is currently lacking. To address this, we first captured the potential druggable space of a DHFR in a substructure called the `supersite' and classified supersites of DHFRs from 56 species into 16 `site-types' based on pairwise structural similarity. Analysis of supersites across these site-types revealed that DHFRs exhibit varying extents of dissimilarity at structurally equivalent positions in and around the binding site. We were able to explain the pattern of affinities towards chemically diverse antifolates exhibited by DHFRs of different site-types based on these structural differences. We then generated an antifolate-DHFR network by mapping known high-affinity antifolates to their respective supersites and used this to identify antifolates that can be repurposed based on similarity between supersites or antifolates. Thus, we identified 177 human-specific and 458 pathogen-specific antifolates, a large number of which are supported by available experimental data. Thus, in the light of the clinical importance of DHFR, we present a novel approach to identifying differences in the druggable space of DHFRs that can be utilized for rational design of antifolates.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: FEBS JOURNAL
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Keywords: antifolate repurposing; antifolate-DHFR network; druggable space; site-typing; substructural similarity; supersites
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2016 05:19
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 05:19
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53727

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