Naegleria fowleri is a deadly human pathogen that causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). In this study, in silico investigations of two important N. fowleri cathepsin B paralogs, i.e., copies of genes resulting from a gene duplication event, were carried out using comparative modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Comparative models of both paralogs showed significant architectural similarity with their template, i.e., rat cathepsin B. However, in N. fowleri cathepsin B (UniProt ID: X5D761) and putative cathepsin B (UniProt ID: M1HE19) enzymes, eleven and fifteen residues in the occluding loop regions were deleted, respectively, suggesting that these enzymes have a short occluding loop. Thus, it is concluded that N. fowleri cathepsin B and putative cathepsin B enzymes lack exopeptidase activity but possess enhanced endopeptidase activity and an affinity for macromolecular inhibitors. MD simulations further confirmed that prosegments (macromolecular inhibitors) bond more tightly with both enzymes than with wild-type cathepsin B. Additionally, a mutation was identified at an important N-glycosylation site; this mutation is believed to affect cathepsin B targeting inside the cell and make cathepsin B available in the extracellular environment. Due to this important N-glycosylation site mutation, these enzymes are secreted in the extracellular environment via an alternative, still unknown, posttranslational processing strategy. The present study is the first to predict the three-dimensional folds of N. fowleri cathepsin B paralogous enzymes, including a detailed description of the active site architecture and information about propeptide binding mode. This information can contribute to the discovery of novel and selective treatments that are effective against N. fowleri.
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M. Aurongzeb, S.A. Haq, Y. Rashid, S.h. Ahmed Naqvi, S.I. Hussain, A.U. Rehman, I. Kaleem, S. Bashir
In silico analysis of Naegleria fowleri cathepsin B paralogs: important drug targets
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 25 - N. 8