Taylor & Francis Group

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Investigating the role of Sterol C24-Methyl transferase mutation on drug resistance in leishmaniasis and identifying potential inhibitors

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-19, 06:20 authored by Huma Khan, Muhammad Waqas, Beenish Khurshid, Nazif Ullah, Asaad Khalid, Ashraf N. Abdalla, Mubarak A. Alamri, Abdul Wadood

Leishmaniasis is a fatal disease caused by the leishmania parasite. For the survival of the leishmania parasite, Sterol C24-Methyl Transferase (SMT) is essential which is an enzyme of the ergosterol pathway. SMT protein mutation is responsible for Amphotericin-B drug resistance in Leishmania, which is the main treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. Amphotericin-B resistance is caused by three mutated residues V131I, V321I and F72C. The underlying mechanisms and structural changes in SMT enzymes responsible for resistance due to mutation are still not well understood. In the current study, the potential mechanism of resistance due to these mutations and the structure variation of wild and mutant SMT proteins were investigated through molecular dynamics simulations and molecular docking analysis. The results showed that AmB established strong bonding interaction with wild SMT as compare to mutants SMT. The binding energy calculation showed that binding energy of AmB with mutants SMT increases as compare to the wild SMT. Further structural based virtual screening was carried out to design potential inhibitors for the mutant SMT. On the basis of structural-based virtual screening four inhibitors (SANC01057, SANC00882, SANC00414, SANC01047) were computationally identified as potential mutant SMT (F72C) inhibitors. This work provides valuable information for improved management of drug resistant Leishmaniasis.

Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma


This study was funded by the Deputyship for Research and Innovation, Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia (Project number ISP22-15).