Molecular interactions underlying the unusually high adenosine affinity of a novel Trypanosoma brucei nucleoside transporter

Al-Salabi, Mohammed; Wallace, Lynsey; Lüscher, Alexandra; Mäser, Pascal; Candlish, Denise; Rodenko, Boris; Gould, Matthew; Jabeen, Ishrat; Ajith, Sreekantan; de Koning, Harry (2007). Molecular interactions underlying the unusually high adenosine affinity of a novel Trypanosoma brucei nucleoside transporter. Molecular pharmacology, 71(3), pp. 921-929. Bethesda, Md.: American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 10.1124/mol.106.031559

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Trypanosoma brucei encodes a relatively high number of genes of the equilibrative nucleoside transporter (ENT) family. We report here the cloning and in-depth characterization of one T. brucei brucei ENT member, TbNT9/AT-D. This transporter was expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and displayed a uniquely high affinity for adenosine (Km = 0.068 +/- 0.013 microM), as well as broader selectivity for other purine nucleosides in the low micromolar range, but was not inhibited by nucleobases or pyrimidines. This selectivity profile is consistent with the P1 transport activity observed previously in procyclic and long-slender bloodstream T. brucei, apart from the 40-fold higher affinity for adenosine than for inosine. We found that, like the previously investigated P1 activity of long/slender bloodstream trypanosomes, the 3'-hydroxy, 5'-hydroxy, N3, and N7 functional groups contribute to transporter binding. In addition, we show that the 6-position amine group of adenosine, but not the inosine 6-keto group, makes a major contribution to binding (DeltaG0 = 12 kJ/mol), explaining the different Km values of the purine nucleosides. We further found that P1 activity in procyclic and long-slender trypanosomes is pharmacologically distinct, and we identified the main gene encoding this activity in procyclic cells as NT10/AT-B. The presence of multiple P1-type nucleoside transport activities in T. brucei brucei facilitates the development of nucleoside-based treatments for African trypanosomiasis and would delay the onset of uptake-related drug resistance to such therapy. We show that both TbNT9/AT-D and NT10/AT-B transport a range of potentially therapeutic nucleoside analogs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Mäser, Pascal




American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:57

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:43

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 52830)

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