Discovery of potent and selective inhibitors of Trypanosoma brucei ornithine decarboxylase

David C. Smithson, Jeongmi Lee, Anang A. Shelat, Margaret A. Phillips, R. Kiplin Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Human African trypanosomiasis, caused by the eukaryotic parasite Trypanosoma brucei, is a serious health problem in much of central Africa. The only validated molecular target for treatment of human African trypanosomiasis is ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), which catalyzes the first step in polyamine metabolism. Here, we describe the use of an enzymatic high throughput screen of 316,114 unique molecules to identify potent and selective inhibitors of ODC. This screen identified four novel families of ODC inhibitors, including the first inhibitors selective for the parasitic enzyme. These compounds display unique binding modes, suggesting the presence of allosteric regulatory sites on the enzyme. Docking of a subset of these inhibitors, coupled with mutagenesis, also supports the existence of these allosteric sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16771-16781
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 28 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery of potent and selective inhibitors of Trypanosoma brucei ornithine decarboxylase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this