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Imidazole derivatives as promising agents for the treatment of chagas disease

AuthorsSiciliano de Araujo, Julianna; García-Rubia, Alfonso; Sebastián-Pérez, Víctor; Kalejaiye, Titilola; da Silva, P. B.; Fonseca-Berzal, Cristina; Maes, Louis; Koning, Harry de; de Nazaré Correia Soeiro, Maria; Gil,Carmen
KeywordsChagas disease
Drug discovery
Issue Date27-Mar-2019
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationAntimicrob Agents Chemother 63(4). pii: e02156-18 (2019)
AbstractMore than 100 years after being first described, Chagas disease remains endemic in 21 Latin American countries and has spread to other continents. Indeed, this disease, which is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is no longer just a problem for the American continents but has become a global health threat. Current therapies, i.e., nifurtimox and benznidazole (Bz), are far from being adequate, due to their undesirable effects and their lack of efficacy in the chronic phases of the disease. In this work, we present an in-depth phenotypic evaluation in T. cruzi of a new class of imidazole compounds, which were discovered in a previous phenotypic screen against different trypanosomatids and were designed as potential inhibitors of cAMP phosphodiesterases (PDEs). The confirmation of several activities similar or superior to that of Bz prompted a synthesis program of hit optimization and extended structure-activity relationship aimed at improving drug-like properties such as aqueous solubility, which resulted in additional hits with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values similar to that of Bz. The cellular effects of one representative hit, compound 9, on bloodstream trypomastigotes were further investigated. Transmission electron microscopy revealed cellular changes, after just 2 h of incubation with the IC50 concentration, that were consistent with induced autophagy and osmotic stress, mechanisms previously linked to cAMP signaling. Compound 9 induced highly significant increases in both cellular and medium cAMP levels, confirming that inhibition of T. cruzi PDE(s) is part of its mechanism of action. The potent and selective activity of this imidazole-based PDE inhibitor class against T. cruzi constitutes a successful repurposing of research into inhibitors of mammalian PDEs.
Description25 p.-4 fig.-2 tab.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.02156-18
Appears in Collections:(CIB) Artículos
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