Antitrypanosomal effect of allopurinol: conversion in vivo to aminopyrazolopyrimidine nucleotides by Trypanosoma curzi

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Science  15 Sep 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4360, pp. 1018-1020
DOI: 10.1126/science.356267


The parasite Trypanosoma cruzi metabolizes allopurinol by a sequential conversion to allopurinol mononucleotide and aminopurinol mononucleotide. The latter is incorporated into RNA. This transformation of a widely used innocuous agent, allopurinol, into a toxic adenine analog appears to account for the antiprotozoan effect of allopurinol. These unique enzymatic activities appear to occur only in T. cruzi and the pathogenic lesihaminae. Allopurinol may serve as a model for the synthesis of similar antiprotozoan agents.