Interactions between 4-aminoquinoline and heme: Promising mechanism against Trypanosoma cruzi.
ABSTRACT: Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by the flagellated protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The current drugs used to treat this disease have limited efficacy and produce severe side effects. Quinolines, nitrogen heterocycle compounds that form complexes with heme, have a broad spectrum of antiprotozoal activity and are a promising class of new compounds for Chagas disease chemotherapy. In this study, we evaluated the activity of a series of 4-arylaminoquinoline-3-carbonitrile derivatives against all forms of Trypanosoma cruzi in vitro. Compound 1g showed promising activity against epimastigote forms when combined with hemin (IC50<1 ?M), with better performance than benznidazole, the reference drug. This compound also inhibited the viability of trypomastigotes and intracellular amastigotes. The potency of 1g in combination with heme was enhanced against epimastigotes and trypomastigotes, suggesting a similar mechanism of action that occurs in Plasmodium spp. The addition of hemin to the culture medium increased trypanocidal activity of analog 1g without changing the cytotoxicity of the host cell, reaching an IC50 of 11.7 ?M for trypomastigotes. The mechanism of action was demonstrated by the interaction of compound 1g with hemin in solution and prevention of heme peroxidation. Compound 1g and heme treatment induced alterations of the mitochondrion-kinetoplast complex in epimastigotes and trypomastigotes and also, accumulation of electron-dense deposits in amastigotes as visualized by transmission electron microscopy. The trypanocidal activity of 4-aminoquinolines and the elucidation of the mechanism involving interaction with heme is a neglected field of research, given the parasite's lack of heme biosynthetic pathway and the importance of this cofactor for parasite survival and growth. The results of this study can improve and guide rational drug development and combination treatment strategies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Crystal violet (CV) was used for several years in blood banks to eliminate the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in endemic areas in order to prevent transfusion-transmitted Chagas disease. One mechanism of action described for CV involves inhibition of proline uptake. In T. cruzi, proline is essential for host cell infection and intracellular differentiation among other processes, and can be obtained through the proline permease TcAAAP069. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:CV inhibited proline transporter TcAAAP069 and parasites overexpressing this permease were 47-fold more sensitive to this compound than control parasites. Using CV as reference molecule, loratadine, cyproheptadine, olanzapine and clofazimine were identified as structurally related compounds to CV (structural analogues) by in silico drug repurposing through a similarity-based virtual screening protocol. All these already-approved drugs for clinical use inhibited TcAAAP069 activity with different efficacies and also presented trypanocidal action in epimastigotes, trypomastigotes and amastigotes of the Y, CL Brener and Dm28c T. cruzi strains. Finally, a synergistic effect between benznidazole and the CV chemical analogues was evidenced by combination and dose-reduction indexes values in epimastigotes and trypomastigotes of the Y strain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Loratadine, cyproheptadine and clofazimine inhibit TcAAAP069 proline transporter and also present trypanocidal effect against all T. cruzi life stages in strains from three different DTUs. These CV structural analogues could be a starting point to design therapeutic alternatives to treat Chagas disease by finding new indications for old drugs. This approach, called drug repurposing is a recommended strategy by the World Health Organization to treat neglected diseases, like Chagas disease, and combination therapy may improve the possibility of success of repositioned drugs.
Project description:Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a parasitic infection endemic in Latin America. Currently there are no effective treatments for the chronic phase of the disease, when most patients are diagnosed, therefore the development of new drugs is a priority area. Several triazoles, used as fungicides, exhibit trypanocidal activity both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanism of action of such drugs, both in fungi and in T. cruzi, relies in the inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis affecting the cell viability and growth. Among them, terconazole was the first triazole antifungal drug for human use. In this work, the trypanocidal activity of terconazole was evaluated using in vitro assays. In epimastigotes of two parasites strains from different discrete typing units (Y and Dm28c) the calculated IC50 were 25.7 ?M and 21.9 ?M, respectively. In trypomastigotes and amastigotes (the clinically relevant life-stages of T. cruzi) a higher drug susceptibility was observed with IC50 values of 4.6 ?M and 5.9 ?M, respectively. Finally, the molecular docking simulations suggest that terconazole inhibits the T. cruzi cytochrome P450 14-?-demethylase, interacting in a similar way that other triazole drugs. Drug repurposing to Chagas disease treatment is one of the recommended approach according to the criterion of international health organizations for their application in neglected diseases.
Project description:Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a parasitic infection endemic in Latin America. In T. cruzi the transport of polyamines is essential because this organism is unable to synthesize these compounds de novo. Therefore, the uptake of polyamines from the extracellular medium is critical for survival of the parasite. The anthracene-putrescine conjugate Ant4 was first designed as a polyamine transport probe in cancer cells. Ant4 was also found to inhibit the polyamine transport system and produced a strong trypanocidal effect in T. cruzi. Considering that Ant4 is not currently approved by the FDA, in this work we performed computer simulations to find trypanocidal drugs approved for use in humans that have structures and activities similar to Ant4. Through a similarity ligand-based virtual screening using Ant4 as reference molecule, four possible inhibitors of polyamine transport were found. Three of them, promazine, chlorpromazine, and clomipramine, showed to be effective inhibitors of putrescine uptake, and also revealed a high trypanocidal activity against T. cruzi amastigotes (IC50 values of 3.8, 1.9, and 2.9 ?M, respectively) and trypomastigotes (IC50 values of 3.4, 2.7, and 1.3 ?M, respectively) while in epimastigotes the IC50 were significantly higher (34.7, 41.4, and 39.7 ?M, respectively). Finally, molecular docking simulations suggest that the interactions between the T. cruzi polyamine transporter TcPAT12 and all the identified inhibitors occur in the same region of the protein. However, this location is different from the site occupied by the natural substrates. The value of this effort is that repurposing known drugs in the treatment of other pathologies, especially neglected diseases such as Chagas disease, significantly decreases the time and economic cost of implementation.
Project description:Trypanosoma cruzi is a genetically heterogeneous group of organisms that cause Chagas disease. It has been long suspected that the clinical outcome of the disease and response to therapeutic agents are, at least in part, related to the genetic characteristics of the parasite. Herein, we sought to validate the significance of the genotype of T. cruzi isolates recovered from patients with different clinical forms of Chagas disease living in Argentina on their biological behaviour and susceptibility to drugs. Genotype identification of the newly established isolates confirmed the reported predominance of TcV, with a minor frequency of TcI. Epimastigote sensitivity assays demonstrated marked dissimilar responses to benznidazole, nifurtimox, pentamidine and dihydroartemisinin in vitro. Two TcV isolates exhibiting divergent response to benznidazole in epimastigote assays were further tested for the expression of anti-oxidant proteins. Benznidazole-resistant BOL-FC10A epimastigotes had decreased expression of Old Yellow Enzyme and cytosolic superoxide dismutase, and overexpression of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and tryparedoxin- 1, compared to benznidazole-susceptible AR-SE23C parasites. Drug sensitivity assays on intracellular amastigotes and trypomastigotes reproduced the higher susceptibility of AR-SE23C over BOL-FC10A parasites to benznidazole observed in epimastigotes assays. However, the susceptibility/resistance profile of amastigotes and trypomastigotes to nifurtimox, pentamidine and dihydroartemisinin varied markedly with respect to that of epimastigotes. C3H/He mice infected with AR-SE23C trypomastigotes had higher levels of parasitemia and mortality rate during the acute phase of infection compared to mice infected with BOL-FC10A trypomastigotes. Treatment of infected mice with benznidazole or nifurtimox was efficient to reduce patent parasitemia induced by either isolate. Nevertheless, qPCR performed at 70 dpi revealed parasite DNA in the blood of mice infected with AR-SE23C but not in BOL-FC10A infected mice. These results demonstrate high level of intra-type diversity which may represent an important obstacle for the testing of chemotherapeutic agents.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Benznidazole (Bz) is the therapy currently available for clinical treatment of Chagas' disease. However, many strains of Trypanosoma cruzi parasites are naturally resistant. Nitric oxide (NO) produced by activated macrophages is crucial to the intracellular killing of parasites. Here, we investigate the in vitro and in vivo activities against T. cruzi, of the NO donor, trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+)was incubated with a partially drug-resistant T. cruzi Y strain and the anti-proliferative (epimastigote form) and trypanocidal activities (trypomastigote and amastigote) evaluated. Mice were treated during the acute phase of Chagas' disease. The anti-T. cruzi activity was evaluated by parasitaemia, survival rate, cardiac parasitism, myocarditis and the curative rate. KEY RESULTS: Trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+) was 10- and 100-fold more active than Bz against amastigotes and trypomastigotes respectively. Further, trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+) (0.1 mM) induced 100% of trypanocidal activity (trypomastigotes forms) in vitro. Trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+) induced permanent suppression of parasitaemia and 100% survival in a murine model of acute Chagas' disease. When the drugs were given alone, parasitological cures were confirmed in only 30 and 40% of the animals treated with the NO donor (3.33 micromol.kg(-1).day(-1)) and Bz (385 micromol.kg(-1).day(-1)), respectively, but when given together, 80% of the animals were parasitologically cured. The cured animals showed an absence of myocarditis and a normalisation of cytokine production in the sera. In addition, no in vitro toxicity was observed at the tested doses. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These findings indicate that trans-[RuCl(aneN(4))NO](2+)is a promising lead compound for the treatment of human Chagas' disease.
Project description:Trypanosoma cruzi is the agent of Chagas disease, an infection that affects around 8 million people worldwide. The search for new anti-T. cruzi drugs are relevant, mainly because the treatment of this disease is limited to two drugs. The objective of this study was to investigate the trypanocidal and cytotoxic activity and elucidate the chemical profile of extracts from the roots of the Lonchocarpus cultratus. Roots from L. cultratus were submitted to successive extractions with hexane, dichloromethane, and methanol, resulting in LCH, LCD, and LCM extracts, respectively. Characterization of extracts was done using 1H-RMN, 13C-RMN, CC and TLC. Treatment of T. cruzi forms (epimastigotes, trypomastigotes, and amastigotes) with crescent concentrations of LCH, LCD, and LCM was done for 72, 48, and 48 h, respectively. After this, the percentage of inhibition and IC50/LC50 were calculated. Benznidazole was used as a positive control. Murine macrophages were treated with different concentrations of both extracts for 48 h, and after, the cellular viability was determined by the MTT method and CC50 was calculated. The chalcones derricin and lonchocarpine were identified in the hexane extract, and for the first time in the genus Lonchocarpus, the presence of a dihydrolonchocarpine derivative was observed. Other chalcones such as isocordoin and erioschalcone B were detected in the dichloromethane extract. The dichloromethane extract showed higher activity against all tested forms of T. cruzi than the other two extracts, with IC50 values of 10.98, 2.42, and 0.83 µg/mL, respectively; these values are very close to those of benznidazole. Although the dichloromethane extract presented a cytotoxic effect against mammalian cells, it showed selectivity against amastigotes. The methanolic extract showed the lowest anti-T. cruzi activity but was non-toxic to peritoneal murine macrophages. Thus, the genus Lonchocarpus had demonstrated in the past action against epimastigotes forms of T. cruzi but is the first time that the activity against infective forms is showed, which leading to further studies with in vivo tests.
Project description:The ability of the Chagas disease agent Trypanosoma cruzi to resist extended in vivo exposure to highly effective trypanocidal compounds prompted us to explore the potential for dormancy and its contribution to failed drug treatments in this infection. We document the development of non-proliferating intracellular amastigotes in vivo and in vitro in the absence of drug treatment. Non-proliferative amastigotes ultimately converted to trypomastigotes and established infections in new host cells. Most significantly, dormant amastigotes were uniquely resistant to extended drug treatment in vivo and in vitro and could re-establish a flourishing infection after as many as 30 days of drug exposure. These results demonstrate a dormancy state in T. cruzi that accounts for the failure of highly cytotoxic compounds to completely resolve the infection. The ability of T. cruzi to establish dormancy throws into question current methods for identifying curative drugs but also suggests alternative therapeutic approaches.
Project description:<i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i> carbonic anhydrase (<i>Tc</i>CA) has recently emerged as an interesting target for the design of new compounds to treat Chagas disease. In this study we report the results of a structure-based virtual screening campaign to identify novel and selective <i>Tc</i>CA inhibitors. The combination of properly validated computational methodologies such as comparative modelling, molecular dynamics and docking simulations allowed us to find high potency hits, with K<sub>I</sub> values in the nanomolar range. The compounds also showed trypanocidal effects against <i>T. cruzi</i> epimastigotes and trypomastigotes. All the candidates are selective for inhibiting <i>Tc</i>CA over the human isoform CA II, which is encouraging in terms of possible therapeutic safety and efficacy.
Project description:Chagas disease remains one of the most neglected diseases in the world despite being the most important parasitic disease in Latin America. The characteristic chronic manifestation of chagasic cardiomyopathy is the region's leading cause of heart-related illness, causing significant mortality and morbidity. Due to the limited available therapeutic options, new drugs are urgently needed to control the disease. Sirtuins, also called Silent information regulator 2 (Sir2) proteins have long been suggested as interesting targets to treat different diseases, including parasitic infections. Recent studies on Trypanosoma cruzi sirtuins have hinted at the possibility to exploit these enzymes as a possible drug targets. In the present work, the T. cruzi Sir2 related protein 1 (TcSir2rp1) is genetically validated as a drug target and biochemically characterized for its NAD+-dependent deacetylase activity and its inhibition by the classic sirtuin inhibitor nicotinamide, as well as by bisnaphthalimidopropyl (BNIP) derivatives, a class of parasite sirtuin inhibitors. BNIPs ability to inhibit TcSir2rp1, and anti-parasitic activity against T. cruzi amastigotes in vitro were investigated. The compound BNIP Spermidine (BNIPSpd) (9), was found to be the most potent inhibitor of TcSir2rp1. Moreover, this compound showed altered trypanocidal activity against TcSir2rp1 overexpressing epimastigotes and anti-parasitic activity similar to the reference drug benznidazole against the medically important amastigotes, while having the highest selectivity index amongst the compounds tested. Unfortunately, BNIPSpd failed to treat a mouse model of Chagas disease, possibly due to its pharmacokinetic profile. Medicinal chemistry modifications of the compound, as well as alternative formulations may improve activity and pharmacokinetics in the future. Additionally, an initial TcSIR2rp1 model in complex with p53 peptide substrate was obtained from low resolution X-ray data (3.5 Å) to gain insight into the potential specificity of the interaction with the BNIP compounds. In conclusion, the search for TcSir2rp1 specific inhibitors may represent a valuable strategy for drug discovery against T. cruzi.
Project description:This report describes the molecular characterization of the Tc8.2 gene of Trypanosoma cruzi. Both the Tc8.2 gene and its encoded protein were analyzed by bioinformatics, while Northern blot and RT-PCR were used for the transcripts. Besides, immunolocalization of recombinant protein was done by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Analysis indicated the presence of a single copy of Tc8.2 in the T. cruzi genome and 2-different sized transcripts in epimastigotes/amastigotes and trypomastigotes. Immunoblotting showed 70 and 80 kDa polypeptides in epimastigotes and trypomastigotes, respectively, and a differential pattern of immunolocalization. Overall, the results suggest that Tc8.2 is differentially expressed during the T. cruzi life cycle.