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PLoS Pathog. 2012 Sep;8(9):e1002922. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002922. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

A cell-based screen reveals that the albendazole metabolite, albendazole sulfone, targets Wolbachia.

Author information

1
Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, USA. lrserbus@ucsc.edu

Abstract

Wolbachia endosymbionts carried by filarial nematodes give rise to the neglected diseases African river blindness and lymphatic filariasis afflicting millions worldwide. Here we identify new Wolbachia-disrupting compounds by conducting high-throughput cell-based chemical screens using a Wolbachia-infected, fluorescently labeled Drosophila cell line. This screen yielded several Wolbachia-disrupting compounds including three that resembled Albendazole, a widely used anthelmintic drug that targets nematode microtubules. Follow-up studies demonstrate that a common Albendazole metabolite, Albendazole sulfone, reduces intracellular Wolbachia titer both in Drosophila melanogaster and Brugia malayi, the nematode responsible for lymphatic filariasis. Significantly, Albendazole sulfone does not disrupt Drosophila microtubule organization, suggesting that this compound reduces titer through direct targeting of Wolbachia. Accordingly, both DNA staining and FtsZ immunofluorescence demonstrates that Albendazole sulfone treatment induces Wolbachia elongation, a phenotype indicative of binary fission defects. This suggests that the efficacy of Albendazole in treating filarial nematode-based diseases is attributable to dual targeting of nematode microtubules and their Wolbachia endosymbionts.

PMID:
23028321
PMCID:
PMC3447747
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1002922
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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