Bioinspired Design of Lysolytic Triterpenoid-Peptide Conjugates that Kill African Trypanosomes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
W-Matthias LeederH Ulrich Göringer


Humans have evolved a natural immunity against Trypanosoma brucei infections, which is executed by two serum (lipo)protein complexes known as trypanolytic factors (TLF). Active TLF-ingredient is the primate-specific apolipoprotein L1 (ApoL1). The protein has a pore-forming activity that kills parasites by lysosomal and mitochondrial membrane fenestration. Of the many trypanosome subspecies only two are able to counteract the activity of ApoL1, which illustrates its evolutionary optimized design and trypanocidal potency. Here we ask the question whether a synthetic (syn)TLF can be synthesized using the design principles of the natural TLF-complexes but relying on different chemical building blocks. We demonstrate the stepwise development of triterpenoid-peptide conjugates, in which the triterpenoids act as a cell binding, uptake and lysosomal transport-moduls and the synthetic peptide GALA as a pH-sensitive, pore-forming lysolytic toxin. As designed, the conjugate kills infective-stage African trypanosomes through lysosomal lysis demonstrating proof-of-principle for the bioinspired, forward-design of a synTLF.

Related Concepts

Trypanosoma brucei brucei
GALA peptide
Chronic Infectious Disease

Related Feeds

African Trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, is an insect-borne parasitic disease of humans and other animals. It is caused by protozoa of the species Trypanosoma brucei and almost invariably progresses to death unless treated. Discover the latest research on African trypanosomiasis here.

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