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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Towards the development of novel Trypanosoma brucei RNA editing ligase 1 inhibitors

Jacob D Durrant1* and J Andrew McCammon23

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0365, USA

2 Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Department of Pharmacology and NSF Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0365, USA

3 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0365, USA

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BMC Pharmacology 2011, 11:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2210-11-9

Published: 30 August 2011



Trypanosoma brucei (T. brucei) is an infectious agent for which drug development has been largely neglected. We here use a recently developed computer program called AutoGrow to add interacting molecular fragments to S5, a known inhibitor of the validated T. brucei drug target RNA editing ligase 1, in order to improve its predicted binding affinity.


The proposed binding modes of the resulting compounds mimic that of ATP, the native substrate, and provide insights into novel protein-ligand interactions that may be exploited in future drug-discovery projects.


We are hopeful that these new predicted inhibitors will aid medicinal chemists in developing novel therapeutics to fight human African trypanosomiasis.