Differential effects of inhibitors of purine metabolism on two trichomonad species

Ching C. Wang, Ron Verham, Cheng Hui-wen, Audie rice, Alice L. Wang

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Tritrichomonas foetus and Trichomonas vaginalis are both incapable of de novo purine nucleotide synthesis. Previous studies indicated that T. foetus relies mainly on the salvage of hypoxanthine and subsequent conversion of IMP to AMP and GMP, whereas T. vaginalis depends on direct conversions of exogenous adenosine to AMP and guanosine to GMP without much interconversion between the two nucleotides. These two different types of purine salvage suggest the possibility of differential sensitivities between the two species of trichomonad flagellates toward different purine antimetabolites. Mycophenolic acid, hadacidin, 8-azaguanine, and formycin B inhibited the growth of T. foetus but had no effect on T. vaginalis. Mycophenolic acid acted by blocking conversion of IMP to GMP, hadacidin inhibited conversion of IMP to AMP, and 8-azaguanine was incorporated into the T. foetus nucleotide pool, likely via hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase. Formycin B was converted to 5'-monophosphate in T. foetus and inhibited the conversion of IMP to AMP. Its precise mechanism of action on T. foetus remains, however, to be elucidated. Alanosine, whose ribonucleotide derivative is a potent inhibitor of adenylosuccinate synthetase, had no effect on the growth or hypoxanthine incorporation in T. foetus, which may be due to the lack of converion of alanosine to the ribonucleotide because of the absence of de novo purine nucleotide synthesis in parasites. Four adenosine analogs, adenine arabinoside, tubercidin, sangivamycin, and toyocamycin, were found inhibitory to the growth of T. vaginalis but showed little effect on T. foetus growth. Further investigations suggested that these four compounds acted on T. vaginalis by blocking incorporation of adenosine into the adenine nucleotide pool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1329
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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