Exploring N-myristoyltransferase as a promising drug target against parasitic neglected tropical diseases.

Publication date: Oct 05, 2023

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) constitute a group of approximately 20 infectious diseases that mainly affect the impoverished population without basic sanitation in tropical countries. These diseases are responsible for many deaths worldwide, costing billions of dollars in public health investment to treat and control these infections. Among them are the diseases caused by protozoa of the Trypanosomatid family, which constitute Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease), Trypanosoma brucei (sleeping sickness), and Leishmaniasis. In addition, there is a classification of other diseases, called the big three, AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, which are endemic in countries with tropical conditions. Despite the high mortality rates, there is still a gap in the treatment. The drugs have a high incidence of side effects and protozoan resistance, justifying the investment in developing new alternatives. In fact, the Target-Based Drug Design (TBDD) approach is responsible for identifying several promising compounds, and among the targets explored through this approach, N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) stands out. It is an enzyme related to the co-translational myristoylation of N-terminal glycine in various peptides. The myristoylation process is a co-translation that occurs after removing the initiator methionine. This process regulates the assembly of protein complexes and stability, which justifies its potential as a drug target. In order to propose NMT as a potential target for parasitic diseases, this review will address the entire structure and function of this enzyme and the primary studies demonstrating its promising potential against Leishmaniasis, T. cruzi, T. brucei, and malaria. We hope our information can help researchers worldwide search for potential drugs against these diseases that have been threatening the health of the world’s population.

Concepts Keywords
Billions Anti-trypanosomatid drugs
Malaria Antimalarial drugs
Methionine Drug design
Sleeping Molecular modeling
Tropical N-myristoyltransferase
Neglected tropical diseases
Parasitic diseases


Type Source Name
disease MESH infectious diseases
disease MESH infections
disease MESH Chagas disease
pathway KEGG Chagas disease
disease MESH Leishmaniasis
pathway KEGG Leishmaniasis
disease MESH AIDS
disease MESH tuberculosis
pathway KEGG Tuberculosis
disease MESH malaria
pathway KEGG Malaria
drug DRUGBANK Glycine
pathway REACTOME Translation
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease MESH parasitic diseases

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