, 2007). There is a pressing need for the identification of novel drug targets, virulence factors and development of vaccines to expand our understanding of the prevention and treatment of leishmaniasis. The enzymes of the sterol biosynthesis pathway are attractive targets for the specific treatment of leishmaniasis as the aetiological agents of the disease require endogenous ergosterol and other alkylated sterols for growth and survival (Urbina et al., 2002). The formation of squalene is the first committed step in sterol biosynthesis and a blockade at this level of the pathway Sorafenib research buy does not affect the production of other essential isoprenoids and the accumulated isoprenoid intermediates (farnesyl pyrophosphate
and precursors) can be readily metabolized and excreted (Gonzalez-Pacanowska et al., 1988). For
these reasons, SSN is currently under intense study as a possible target for cholesterol-lowering agents in humans (Bergstrom et al., 1995; Watson & Procopiou, 1996). Significant advances have been made in the understanding of the reaction mechanism of the vertebrate SSN (Mookhtiar et al., 1994) and recently, the crystal structure of a soluble, fully active form of the human enzyme was reported (Pandit et al., 2000). Overexpression or selection studies in Leishmania major (Cotrim et al., 1999) have shown that the expression of SSN is strongly activated in these cells in the presence Dabrafenib of sterol biosynthesis inhibitors. Quinuclidines inhibit the leishmanial SSN, disrupt endogenous sterol biosynthesis and cause the inhibition of the growth of the leishmanial parasite (Lorente et al., 2005; Rodrigues et al., 2005; Cammerer et al., 2007). E5700, an inhibitor of SSN, has been tested in a murine model of chagas disease and is able to provide complete protection against death and completely suppress parasitimia (Urbina et al., 2004; Rodrigues et al., 2008). Studies related to structure–function relationship may lead to a better understanding of this potential drug target. We have cloned, overexpressed the Leishmania donovani SSN gene in pET-28(a) transformed in Escherichia coli and designated
as LdSSN. This recombinant L. donovani SSN enzyme was purified and biochemically characterized. Here, we describe, for the first time, Alanine-glyoxylate transaminase partial purification of full-length LdSSN through anion exchange chromatography followed by hydrophobic interaction chromatography and finally validated by Western blot. Biochemical properties such as pH optimum, thermal stability and the effect of denaturants on LdSSN are reported here. Farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) unlabelled, squalene unlabelled, 2-mercaptoethanol, NADPH, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) and Zaragozic acid A (microbial origin) were obtained from Sigma-Aldrich. Restriction enzymes used for cloning were obtained from MBI, Fermentas. Monoclonal His-antibody and Ni-NTA superflow were obtained from Qiagen. pGEM-T Easy cloning vector was purchased from Promega.