Publications by authors named "Ilenia De Ionna"

2 Publications

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Toward a Drug Against All Kinetoplastids: From LeishBox to Specific and Potent Trypanothione Reductase Inhibitors.

Mol Pharm 2018 08 27;15(8):3069-3078. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, Italian National Research Council (IBPM CNR), Department of Biochemical Sciences , Sapienza University , P.le A. Moro 5 , 00185 Rome , Italy.

Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness affect millions of people worldwide and lead to the death of about 50 000 humans per year. These diseases are caused by the kinetoplastids Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Trypanosoma brucei, respectively. These parasites share many general features, including gene conservation, high amino acid identity among proteins, the presence of subcellular structures as glycosomes and the kinetoplastid, and genome architecture, that may make drug development family specific, rather than species-specific, i.e., on the basis of the inhibition of a common, conserved parasite target. However, no optimal molecular targets or broad-spectrum drugs have been identified to date to cure these diseases. Here, the LeishBox from GlaxoSmithKline high-throughput screening, a 192-molecule set of best antileishmanial compounds, based on 1.8 million compounds, was used to identify specific inhibitors of a validated Leishmania target, trypanothione reductase (TR), while analyzing in parallel the homologous human enzyme glutathione reductase (GR). We identified three specific highly potent TR inhibitors and performed docking on the TR solved structure, thereby elucidating the putative molecular basis of TR inhibition. Since TRs from kinetoplastids are well conserved, and these compounds inhibit the growth of Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Trypanosoma brucei, the identification of a common validated target may lead to the development of potent antikinetoplastid drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.8b00185DOI Listing
August 2018

Identification of chalcone-based antileishmanial agents targeting trypanothione reductase.

Eur J Med Chem 2018 May 2;152:527-541. Epub 2018 May 2.

Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

All currently used first-line and second-line drugs for the treatment of leishmaniasis exhibit several drawbacks including toxicity, high costs and route of administration. Furthermore, some drugs are associated with the emergence of drug resistance. Thus, the development of new treatments for leishmaniasis is a priority in the field of neglected tropical diseases. The present work highlights the use of natural derived products, i.e. chalcones, as potential source of antileishmanial agents. Thirty-one novel chalcone compounds have been synthesized and their activity has been evaluated against promastigotes of Leishmania donovani; 16 compounds resulted active against L. donovani in a range from 3.0 to 21.5 μM, showing low toxicity against mammalian cells. Among these molecules, 6 and 16 showed good inhibitory activity on both promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes, coupled with an high selectivity index. Furthermore, compounds 6 and 16 inhibited the promastigote growth of other leishmanial species, including L. tropica, L. major and L. infantum. Finally, 6 and 16 interacted with high affinity with trypanothione reductase (TR), an essential enzyme for the leishmanial parasite and compound 6 inhibited TR with sub-micromolar potency. Thus, the effective inhibitory activity against Leishmania, the lack of toxicity on mammalian cells and the ability to block a crucial parasite's enzyme, highlight the potential for compound 6 to be optimized as novel drug candidate against leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.04.057DOI Listing
May 2018