Nitroimidazole carboxamides as antiparasitic agents targeting Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.
ABSTRACT: Diarrhoeal diseases caused by the intestinal parasites Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica constitute a major global health burden. Nitroimidazoles are first-line drugs for the treatment of giardiasis and amebiasis, with metronidazole 1 being the most commonly used drug worldwide. However, treatment failures in giardiasis occur in up to 20% of cases and development of resistance to metronidazole is of concern. We have re-examined 'old' nitroimidazoles as a foundation for the systematic development of next-generation derivatives. Using this approach, derivatisation of the nitroimidazole carboxamide scaffold provided improved antiparasitic agents. Thirty-three novel nitroimidazole carboxamides were synthesised and evaluated for activity against G. lamblia and E. histolytica. Several of the new compounds exhibited potent activity against G. lamblia strains, including metronidazole-resistant strains of G. lamblia (EC50 = 0.1-2.5 ?M cf. metronidazole EC50 = 6.1-18 ?M). Other compounds showed improved activity against E. histolytica (EC50 = 1.7-5.1 ?M cf. metronidazole EC50 = 5.0 ?M), potent activity against Trichomonas vaginalis (EC50 = 0.6-1.4 ?M cf. metronidazole EC50 = 0.8 ?M) and moderate activity against the intestinal bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile (0.5-2 ?g/mL, cf. metronidazole = 0.5 ?g/mL). The new compounds had low toxicity against mammalian kidney and liver cells (CC50 > 100 ?M), and selected antiparasitic hits were assessed for human plasma protein binding and metabolic stability in liver microsomes to demonstrate their therapeutic potential.
Project description:Tuberculosis and parasitic diseases, such as giardiasis, amebiasis, leishmaniasis, and trypanosomiasis, all urgently require improved treatment options. Recently, it has been shown that antitubercular bicyclic nitroimidazoles such as pretomanid and delamanid have potential as repurposed therapeutics for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis. Here, we show that pretomanid also possesses potent activity against Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica, thus expanding the therapeutic potential of nitroimidazooxazines. Synthetic analogues with a novel nitroimidazopyrazin-one/-e bicyclic nitroimidazole chemotype were designed and synthesized, and structure-activity relationships were generated. Selected derivatives had potent antiparasitic and antitubercular activity while maintaining drug-like properties such as low cytotoxicity, good metabolic stability in liver microsomes and high apparent permeability across Caco-2 cells. The kinetic solubility of the new bicyclic derivatives varied and was found to be a key parameter for future optimization. Taken together, these results suggest that promising subclasses of bicyclic nitroimidazoles containing different core architectures have potential for further development.
Project description:Parasitic infections like amebiasis, trichomoniasis, and giardiasis are major health threats in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Metronidazole (MTZ) is the current drug of choice for amebiasis, giardiasis, and trichomoniasis but it has several adverse effects and potential resistance is a concern. In order to develop alternative antimicrobials, a library of 1H-1,2,3-triazole-tethered metronidazole-isatin conjugates was synthesized using Huisgen's azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction and evaluated for their amebicidal, anti-trichomonal, and anti-giardial potential. Most of the synthesized conjugates exhibited activities against Trichomonas vaginalis, Tritrichomonas foetus, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia. While activities against T. vaginalis and T. foetus were comparable to that of the standard drug MTZ, better activities were observed against E. histolytica and G. lamblia. Conjugates 9d and 10a were found to be 2-3-folds more potent than MTZ against E. histolytica and 8-16-folds more potent than MTZ against G. lamblia. Further analysis of these compounds on fungi and bacteria did not show inhibitory activity, demonstrating their specific anti-protozoal properties.
Project description:Metronidazole has been used clinically for over 50 years as an antiparasitic and broad-spectrum antibacterial agent effective against anaerobic bacteria. However resistance to metronidazole in parasites and bacteria has been reported, and improved second-generation metronidazole analogues are needed. The copper catalysed Huigsen azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition offers a way to efficiently assemble new libraries of metronidazole analogues. Several new metronidazole-triazole conjugates (Mtz-triazoles) have been identified with excellent broad spectrum antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity targeting Clostridium difficile, Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia. Cross resistance to metronidazole was observed against stable metronidazole resistant C. difficile and G. lamblia strains. However for the most potent Mtz-triazoles, the activity remained in a therapeutically relevant window.
Project description:Protozoan parasites infect and kill millions of people worldwide every year, particularly in developing countries where access to clean fresh water is limited. Among the most common are intestinal parasites, including Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica. These parasites wreak havoc on the epithelium lining the small intestines (G. lamblia) and colon (E. histolytica) causing giardiasis and amebiasis, respectively. In addition, there are less common but far more deadly pathogens such as Naegleria fowleri that thrive in warm waters and infect the central nervous systems of their victims via the nasal passages. Despite their prevalence and associated high mortality rates, there remains an unmet need to identify more effective therapeutics for people infected with these opportunistic parasites. To address this unmet need, we have surveyed plants and traditional herbal medicines known throughout the world to identify novel antiparasitic agents with activity against G. lamblia, E. histolytica, and N. fowleri. Herein, we report Larrea tridentata, known as creosote bush, as a novel source for secondary metabolites that display antiparasitic activity against all three pathogens. This report also characterizes the lignan compound classes, nordihydroguairetic acid and demethoxyisoguaiacin, as novel antiparasitic lead agents to further develop more effective drug therapy options for millions of people worldwide.
Project description:Giardia lamblia is an important and ubiquitous cause of diarrheal disease. The primary agents in the treatment of giardiasis are nitroheterocyclic drugs, particularly the imidazoles metronidazole and tinidazole and the thiazole nitazoxanide. Although these drugs are generally effective, treatment failures occur in up to 20% of cases, and resistance has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro Prior work had suggested that side chain modifications of the imidazole core can lead to new effective 5-nitroimidazole drugs that can combat nitro drug resistance, but the full potential of nitroheterocycles other than imidazole to yield effective new antigiardial agents has not been explored. Here, we generated derivatives of two clinically utilized nitroheterocycles, nitrothiazole and nitrofuran, as well as a third heterocycle, nitropyrrole, which is related to nitroimidazole but has not been systematically investigated as an antimicrobial drug scaffold. Click chemistry was employed to synthesize 442 novel nitroheterocyclic compounds with extensive side chain modifications. Screening of this library against representative G. lamblia strains showed a wide spectrum of in vitro activities, with many of the compounds exhibiting superior activity relative to reference drugs and several showing >100-fold increase in potency and the ability to overcome existing forms of metronidazole resistance. The majority of new compounds displayed no cytotoxicity against human cells, and several compounds were orally active against murine giardiasis in vivo These findings provide additional impetus for the systematic development of nitroheterocyclic compounds with nonimidazole cores as alternative and improved agents for the treatment of giardiasis and potentially other infectious agents.
Project description:The microaerophilic parasites Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Giardia lamblia annually cause hundreds of millions of human infections which are treated with antiparasitic drugs. Metronidazole is the most often prescribed drug but also other drugs are in use, and novel drugs with improved characteristics are constantly being developed. One of these novel drugs is auranofin, originally an antirheumatic which has been relabelled for the treatment of parasitic infections. Drug effectivity is arguably the most important criterion for its applicability and is commonly assessed in susceptibility assays using in vitro cultures of a given pathogen. However, drug susceptibility assays can be strongly affected by certain compounds in the growth media. In the case of microaerophilic parasites, cysteine which is added in large amounts as an antioxidant is an obvious candidate because it is highly reactive and known to modulate the toxicity of metronidazole in several microaerophilic parasites. In this study, it was attempted to reduce cysteine concentrations as far as possible without affecting parasite viability by performing drug susceptibility assays under strictly anaerobic conditions in an anaerobic cabinet. Indeed, T. vaginalis and E. histolytica could be grown without any cysteine added and the cysteine concentration necessary to maintain G. lamblia could be reduced to 20%. Susceptibilities to metronidazole were found to be clearly reduced in the presence of cysteine. With auranofin the protective effect of cysteine was extreme, providing protection to concentrations up to 100-fold higher as observed in the absence of cysteine. With three other drugs tested, albendazole, furazolidone and nitazoxanide, all in use against G. lamblia, the effect of cysteine was less pronounced. Oxygen was found to have a less marked impact on metronidazole and auranofin than cysteine but bovine bile which is standardly used in growth media for G. lamblia, displayed a marked synergistic effect with metronidazole.
Project description:The 4-nitroimidazole PA-824 is active against aerobic and anaerobic Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) while 5-nitroimidazoles like metronidazole are active against only anaerobic Mtb. We have synthesized analogues of both 4- and 5-nitroimidazoles and explored their antitubercular activities. The nitro group is required for both activities in all compounds. The key determinants of aerobic activity in the 4-nitroimidazoles include the bicyclic oxazine, the lipophilic tail, and the 2-position oxygen. For the 5-nitroimidazoles, neither the corresponding bicyclic analogue nor addition of a lipophilic tail conveyed aerobic activity. Incorporation of a 2-position oxygen atom into a rigid 5-nitroimidazooxazine provided the first 5-nitroimidazole with aerobic activity. Across both series, anaerobic and aerobic activities were not correlated and Mtb mutants lacking the deazaflavin-dependent nitroreductase (Ddn) retained anaerobic sensitivity to some compounds. Aerobic activity appears to be correlated with efficiency as a substrate for Ddn, suggesting a means of structure-based optimization of improved nitroimidazoles.
Project description:Giardiasis, caused by the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia, is a severe diarrheal disease, endemic in poverty-stricken regions of the world, and also a common infection in developed countries. The available therapeutic options are associated with adverse effects, and G. lamblia resistance to the standard-of-care drugs is spreading. Fumagillin, an antimicrosporidiosis drug, is a therapeutic agent with potential for the treatment of giardiasis. However, it exhibits considerable, albeit reversible, toxicity when used to treat immunocompromised microsporidiosis patients. Fumagillin is also a highly unstable compound. To address these liabilities, we designed and synthesized stable fumagillol derivatives with lower levels of permeation across polarized epithelial Caco-2 cells and better potency against G. lamblia trophozoites than fumagillin. Metronidazole-resistant G. lamblia strains were also susceptible to the new fumagillol derivatives. In addition, these compounds were more potent against the amebiasis-causing parasite Entamoeba histolytica than fumagillin. Two compounds exhibited better thermal and acid stability than fumagillin, which should prolong the drug shelf life and reduce compound degradation in the stomach. Studies with a mouse model of giardiasis with the most stable compound, 4-(((((3R,4S,5S,6R)-5-methoxy-4-((2R,3R)-2-methyl-3-(3-methylbut-2-en-1-yl)oxiran-2-yl)-1-oxaspiro[2.5]octan-6-yl)oxy)carbonyl)amino)benzoic acid (compound 9), revealed that it had better efficacy (effective dose [ED]) than fumagillin at both the fully curative dose (the 100% ED) of 6.6?mg/kg of body weight and a 50% ED of 0.064?mg/kg. Plasma pharmacokinetics revealed the slow absorption of compound 9 through the gut, consistent with the in vitro characterization in Caco-2 cells. An acute-dose study yielded a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 1,500?mg/kg, 227-fold higher than the fully curative dose. Thus, along with improved stability, compound 9 also exhibited an excellent therapeutic window.
Project description:Carbamate kinase from Giardia lamblia is an essential enzyme for the survival of the organism. The enzyme catalyzes the final step in the arginine dihydrolase pathway converting ADP and carbamoyl phosphate to ATP and carbamate. We previously reported that disulfiram, a drug used to treat chronic alcoholism, inhibits G. lamblia CK and kills G. lamblia trophozoites in vitro at submicromolar IC50 values. Here, we examine the structural basis for G. lamblia CK inhibition of disulfiram and its analog, thiram, their activities against both metronidazole-susceptible and metronidazole-resistant G. lamblia isolates, and their efficacy in a mouse model of giardiasis. The crystal structure of G. lamblia CK soaked with disulfiram revealed that the compound thiocarbamoylated Cys-242, a residue located at the edge of the active site. The modified Cys-242 prevents a conformational transition of a loop adjacent to the ADP/ATP binding site, which is required for the stacking of Tyr-245 side chain against the adenine moiety, an interaction seen in the structure of G. lamblia CK in complex with AMP-PNP. Mass spectrometry coupled with trypsin digestion confirmed the selective covalent thiocarbamoylation of Cys-242 in solution. The Giardia viability studies in the metronidazole-resistant strain and the G. lamblia CK irreversible inactivation mechanism show that the thiuram compounds can circumvent the resistance mechanism that renders metronidazole ineffectiveness in drug resistance cases of giardiasis. Together, the studies suggest that G. lamblia CK is an attractive drug target for development of novel antigiardial therapies and that disulfiram, an FDA-approved drug, is a promising candidate for drug repurposing.
Project description:Giardiasis and other protozoan infections are major worldwide causes of morbidity and mortality, yet development of new antimicrobial agents with improved efficacy and ability to override increasingly common drug resistance remains a major challenge. Antimicrobial drug development typically proceeds by broad functional screens of large chemical libraries or hypothesis-driven exploration of single microbial targets, but both strategies have challenges that have limited the introduction of new antimicrobials. Here, we describe an alternative drug development strategy that identifies a sufficient but manageable number of promising targets, while reducing the risk of pursuing targets of unproven value. The strategy is based on defining and exploiting the incompletely understood adduction targets of 5-nitroimidazoles, which are proven antimicrobials against a wide range of anaerobic protozoan and bacterial pathogens. Comprehensive adductome analysis by modified click chemistry and multi-dimensional proteomics were applied to the model pathogen Giardia lamblia to identify dozens of adducted protein targets common to both 5'-nitroimidazole-sensitive and -resistant cells. The list was highly enriched for known targets in G. lamblia, including arginine deiminase, ?-tubulin, carbamate kinase, and heat shock protein 90, demonstrating the utility of the approach. Importantly, over twenty potential novel drug targets were identified. Inhibitors of two representative new targets, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase and peroxiredoxin, were found to have significant antigiardial activity. Furthermore, all the identified targets remained available in resistant cells, since giardicidal activity of the respective inhibitors was not impacted by resistance to 5'-nitroimidazoles. These results demonstrate that the combined use of click chemistry and proteomics has the potential to reveal alternative drug targets for overcoming antimicrobial drug resistance in protozoan parasites.