Actions of a proline analogue, L-thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (T4C), on Trypanosoma cruzi.

Departamento de Parasitología, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2009; 4(2):e4534. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004534
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is well established that L-proline has several roles in the biology of trypanosomatids. In Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, this amino acid is involved in energy metabolism, differentiation processes and resistance to osmotic stress. In this study, we analyzed the effects of interfering with L-proline metabolism on the viability and on other aspects of the T. cruzi life cycle using the proline analogue L- thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (T4C). The growth of epimastigotes was evaluated using different concentrations of T4C in standard culture conditions and at high temperature or acidic pH. We also evaluated possible interactions of this analogue with stress conditions such as those produced by nutrient starvation and oxidative stress. T4C showed a dose-response effect on epimastigote growth (IC(50) = 0.89+/-0.02 mM at 28 degrees C), and the inhibitory effect of this analogue was synergistic (p<0.05) with temperature (0.54+/-0.01 mM at 37 degrees C). T4C significantly diminished parasite survival (p<0.05) in combination with nutrient starvation and oxidative stress conditions. Pre-incubation of the parasites with L-proline resulted in a protective effect against oxidative stress, but this was not seen in the presence of the drug. Finally, the trypomastigote bursting from infected mammalian cells was evaluated and found to be inhibited by up to 56% when cells were treated with non-toxic concentrations of T4C (between 1 and 10 mM). All these data together suggest that T4C could be an interesting therapeutic drug if combined with others that affect, for example, oxidative stress. The data also support the participation of proline metabolism in the resistance to oxidative stress.

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