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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Signal Transduction Pathways as Therapeutic Target for Chagas Disease

Author(s): Alejandra Cecilia Schoijet, Tamara Sternlieb and Guillermo Daniel Alonso*

Volume 26, Issue 36, 2019

Page: [6572 - 6589] Pages: 18

DOI: 10.2174/0929867326666190620093029

Price: $65


Trypanosomatids are a group of flagellated unicellular eukaryotes, causing 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 difficult the transition from basic research to the clinical phase. Trypanosomatid PDEs have characteristic binding pockets that allow for a differential inhibition from their human orthologs. Modification in the approved drugs for human to convert them into trypanocidal treatments could lead to more effective therapies, shorter lab time 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 the neglected tropical diseases.

Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, Leishmania spp, cAMP, adenylyl cyclase, phosphodiesterase, therapeutic target, drug repositioning.

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