Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bee Venom Component Used to Help Find Targeted Therapy for Liver Fibrosis

Structural Analysis of Secretory Phospholipase A(2) from Clonorchis sinensis: Therapeutic Implications for Hepatic Fibrosis
J Mol Model, 2012 Jan 4

Hepatic fibrosis is a common complication of the infection by the parasite, Clonorchis sinensis. There is a high incidence of this disease in the Asian countries with an increased risk of conversion to cancer. A secretory phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) enzyme from the parasite is implicated in the pathology. This is an attractive drug target in the light of extensive structural characterization of this class of enzyme.

In this study, the structure of the enzyme was modeled based on its sequence homology to the group III bee venom PLA(2). On analysis, the overall structure essentially is comprised of three helices, two sets of β-wings and an elongated C-terminal extension. The structure is stabilized by four disulfide bonds. The structure is comprised of a calcium binding loop, active site and a substrate binding hydrophobic channel. The active site of the enzyme shows the classical features of PLA(2) with the participation of the three residues: histidine-aspartic acid-tyrosine in hydrogen bond formation.

This is an interesting variation from the house keeping group III PLA(2) enzyme of human which has a histidine-aspartic acid and phenylalanine arrangement at the active site. This difference is therefore an important structural parameter that can be exploited to design specific inhibitor molecules against the pathogen PLA(2).

Likewise, there are certain unique structural features in the hydrophobic channel and the putative membrane binding surface of the PLA(2) from Clonorchis sinensis that not only help understand the mechanism of action but also provide knowledge for a targeted therapy of liver fibrosis caused by the parasite.

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