5 years ago

Lausannevirus Encodes a Functional Dihydrofolate Reductase Susceptible to Proguanil.

Mueller L, Gauye F, Greub G, Hauser PM
Lausannevirus belongs to the family Marseilleviridae within the group of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs). These giant viruses exhibit unique features, including a large genome, ranging from 100 kb to 2.5 Mb and including from 150 to more than 2,500 genes, as well as the presence of genes coding for proteins involved in transcription and translation. The large majority of Lausannevirus open reading frames have unknown functions. Interestingly, a bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) is encoded in the Lausannevirus genome. The enzyme plays central roles in DNA precursor biosynthesis. DHFR is the pharmacological target of antifolates, such as trimethoprim, pyrimethamine, and proguanil. First, the functionality of Lausannevirus DHFR-TS was demonstrated by the successful complementation of a DHFR-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain with a plasmid expressing the heterologous gene. Additionally, using this heterologous expression system, we demonstrated the in vitro susceptibility of Lausannevirus DHFR-TS to proguanil and its resistance to pyrimethamine and trimethoprim. Proguanil may provide a unique and useful treatment if Lausannevirus proves to be a human pathogen. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a DHFR-TS has been described and characterized in an NCLDV.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28137801

DOI: PubMed:28137801

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