Evaluating aziridinyl nitrobenzamide compounds as leishmanicidal prodrugs.

Voak, AA; Seifert, K; Helsby, NA; Wilkinson, SR; (2014) Evaluating aziridinyl nitrobenzamide compounds as leishmanicidal prodrugs. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, 58 (1). pp. 370-7. ISSN 0066-4804 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01459-13

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Many of the nitroaromatic agents used in medicine function as prodrugs and must undergo activation before exerting their toxic effects. In most cases, this is catalyzed by flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-dependent type I nitroreductases (NTRs), a class of enzyme absent from higher eukaryotes but expressed by bacteria and several eukaryotic microbes, including trypanosomes and Leishmania. Here, we utilize this difference to evaluate whether members of a library of aziridinyl nitrobenzamides have activity against Leishmania major. Biochemical screens using purified L. major NTR (LmNTR) revealed that compounds containing an aziridinyl-2,4-dinitrobenzyl core were effective substrates for the enzyme and showed that the 4-nitro group was important for this activity. To facilitate drug screening against intracellular amastigote parasites, we generated leishmanial cells that expressed the luciferase reporter gene and optimized a mammalian infection model in a 96-well plate format. A subset of aziridinyl-2,4-dinitrobenzyl compounds possessing a 5-amide substituent displayed significant growth-inhibitory properties against the parasite, with the most potent agents generating 50% inhibitory concentrations of <100 nM for the intracellular form. This antimicrobial activity was shown to be LmNTR specific since L. major NTR(+/-) heterozygote parasites were slightly resistance to most aziridinyl dinitrobenzyl agents tested. When the most potent leishmanicidal agents were screened against the mammalian cells in which the amastigote parasites were propagated, no growth-inhibitory effect was observed at concentrations of up to 100 μM. We conclude that the aziridinyl nitrobenzamides represent a new lead structure that may have the potential to treat leishmanial infections.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMR)
Leishmaniasis Group
Neglected Tropical Diseases Network
PubMed ID: 24165190
Web of Science ID: 329581100047
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1686559


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