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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vivo efficacies of 5'-methylthioadenosine analogs as trypanocides.

5'-Deoxy-5'-(methylthio)adenosine (MTA), a key by-product of polyamine biosynthesis, is cleaved by MTA phosphorylase and is salvaged as adenine and, through conversion of the ribose moiety, methionine. An analog of MTA, 5'-deoxy-5'-(hydroxyethylthio)adenosine (HETA), is a substrate for trypanosome MTA phosphorylase and is active in vitro and in vivo against Trypanosoma brucei brucei, an agent of bovine trypanosomiasis. In this study, HETA and three O-acylated HETA derivatives were examined for their activities against model infections of T. b. brucei and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, the agent of East African sleeping sickness. HETA was curative (>60%) for infections caused by 5 of 11 clinical isolates of T. b. rhodesiense when it was given to mice at 200 mg/kg of body weight for 7 days as a continuous infusion in osmotic pumps. HETA at 150 to 200 mg/kg also extended the life spans of the mice infected with four additional isolates two- to fivefold. Di- and tri-O-acetylated derivatives of HETA also proved curative for the infections, while a tri-O-propionyl derivative, although also curative, was not as effective. This study indicates that substrate analogs of MTA should be given important consideration for development as novel chemotherapies against African trypanosomiasis.[1]


  1. In vivo efficacies of 5'-methylthioadenosine analogs as trypanocides. Bacchi, C.J., Sanabria, K., Spiess, A.J., Vargas, M., Marasco, C.J., Jimenez, L.M., Goldberg, B., Sufrin, J.R. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1997) [Pubmed]
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