Scientific article
Open access

Pantothenate biosynthesis in Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites is not a drug target

Publication date2023-08
First online date2023-03-15

Toxoplasma gondii is a pervasive apicomplexan parasite that can cause severe disease and death in immunocompromised individuals and the developing foetus. The treatment of toxoplasmosis often leads to serious side effects and novel drugs and drug targets are therefore actively sought. In 2014, Mageed and colleagues suggested that the T. gondii pantothenate synthetase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of the vitamin B5(pantothenate), the precursor of the important cofactor, coenzyme A, is a good drug target. Their conclusion was based on the ability of potent inhibitors of the M. tuberculosis pantothenate synthetase to inhibit the proliferation of T. gondii tachyzoites. They also reported that the inhibitory effect of the compounds could be antagonised by supplementing the medium with pantothenate, supporting their conclusion that the compounds were acting on the intended target. Contrary to these observations, we find that compound SW314, one of the compounds used in the Mageed et al. study and previously shown to be active against M. tuberculosis pantothenate synthetase in vitro, is inactive against the T. gondii pantothenate synthetase and does not inhibit tachyzoite proliferation, despite gaining access into the parasite in situ. Furthermore, we validate the recent observation that the pantothenate synthetase gene in T. gondii can be disrupted without detrimental effect to the survival of the tachyzoite-stage parasite in the presence or absence of extracellular pantothenate. We conclude that the T. gondii pantothenate synthetase is not essential during the tachyzoite stage of the parasite and it is therefore not a target for drug discovery against T. gondii tachyzoites.

  • PanC
  • Pantoate β-alanine ligase
  • Pantothenate
  • Pantothenate synthetase
  • SW314
  • T. gondii
Citation (ISO format)
HOWIESON, Vanessa M et al. Pantothenate biosynthesis in Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites is not a drug target. In: International journal for parasitology, drugs and drug resistance, 2023, vol. 22, p. 1–8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2023.03.003
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ISSN of the journal2211-3207

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Creation05/08/2023 12:21:34 PM
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