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Title: Structure of vaccinia virus thymidine kinase in complex with dTTP: insights for drug design
Authors: El Omari, Kamel ×
Solaroli, Nicola
Karlsson, Anna
Balzarini, Jan
Stammers, David K #
Issue Date: Oct-2006
Publisher: BioMed Central
Series Title: BMC Biochemistry and Structural Biology vol:6 pages:22
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Development of countermeasures to bioterrorist threats such as those posed by the smallpox virus (variola), include vaccination and drug development. Selective activation of nucleoside analogues by virus-encoded thymidine (dThd) kinases (TK) represents one of the most successful strategies for antiviral chemotherapy as demonstrated for anti-herpes drugs. Vaccinia virus TK is a close orthologue of variola TK but also shares a relatively high sequence identity to human type 2 TK (hTK), thus achieving drug selectivity relative to the host enzyme is challenging. RESULTS: In order to identify any differences compared to hTK that may be exploitable in drug design, we have determined the crystal structure of VVTK, in complex with thymidine 5'-triphosphate (dTTP). Although most of the active site residues are conserved between hTK and VVTK, we observe a difference in conformation of residues Asp-43 and Arg-45. The equivalent residues in hTK hydrogen bond to dTTP, whereas in subunit D of VVTK, Asp-43 and Arg-45 adopt a different conformation preventing interaction with this nucleotide. Asp-43 and Arg-45 are present in a flexible loop, which is disordered in subunits A, B and C. The observed difference in conformation and flexibility may also explain the ability of VVTK to phosphorylate (South)-methanocarbathymine whereas, in contrast, no substrate activity with hTK is reported for this compound. CONCLUSION: The difference in conformation for Asp-43 and Arg-45 could thus be used in drug design to generate VVTK/Variola TK-selective nucleoside analogue substrates and/or inhibitors that have lower affinity for hTK.
URI: 
ISSN: 1471-2237
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy (Rega Institute)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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