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Curr Med Chem. 2019 Jun 19. doi: 10.2174/0929867326666190620093029. [Epub ahead of print]

Signal Transduction Pathways as Therapeutic Target for Chagas Disease.

Author information

1
Laboratorio de señalización y mecanismos adaptativos en tripanosomátidos, Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular "Dr. Héctor N. Torres"; Vuelta de Obligado 2490 (C1428ADN), Buenos Aires,. Argentina.
2
Laboratorio de señalización y mecanismos adaptativos en tripanosomátidos, Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular "Dr. Héctor N. Torres"; Vuelta de Obligado 2490 (C1428ADN), Buenos Aires. Argentina.
3
Departamento de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Argentina.

Abstract

Trypanosomatids are a group of flagellated unicellular eukaryotes, which cause serious human diseases including Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi), sleeping sickness (Trypanosoma brucei spp.) and Leishmaniasis (Leishmania spp.). The second messenger cAMP is involved in numerous and fundamental processes in these parasites including differentiation between stages, proliferation, osmoregulation, oxidative stress and quorum sensing. Interestingly, its signaling pathway is quite different from that of mammals, including structurally different adenylyl cyclases, the shortage of orthologous effector proteins and the absence of G-protein-coupled-receptors, among others. These characteristics make the proteins involved in these transduction pathways good candidates for therapeutic targets. However, the identification of new unknown druggable targets involves extensive research time and is economically very expensive, making the transition from basic research to the clinical phase difficult. Trypanosomatid PDEs have characteristic binding pockets that allow for a differential inhibition from their human orthologs. Modification of human use approved drugs to turn them into trypanocidal treatments could lead to more effective therapies and shorter lab to counter top transition times and lower costs. In view of the fact that kinetoplastid PDEs are highly conserved with their mammalian counterparts, and since there are already numerous drugs on the market against human PDEs, the drug repositioning approach is highly promising. The development of new technologies, higher government and industrial involvement and more scientists committed to basic investigation, are the key to ultimately find an effective treatment and cure for de the neglected tropical diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Leishmania spp; Trypanosoma brucei; Trypanosoma cruzi; adenylyl cyclase; cAMP; drug repositioning.; phosphodiesterase; therapeutic target

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