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: 3.23). 02/2009; 4(2):e4534. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004534
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Anahí Magdaleno, Jan 23, 2014
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    • "In particular, a correlation between a high intracellular free proline concentration and an increased protection from oxidative and/or thermal stresses has been described previously in bacteria, plants and yeasts [4], [5], [15], [65]. In T. cruzi, reduction of intracellular free proline levels make these parasites more sensitive to oxidative imbalance, thus supporting the hypothesis that accumulation of proline could contribute to resistance to oxidants [26]. To date, mechanisms involved in the process of stress protection have not been well characterized. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past three decades, L-proline has become recognized as an important metabolite for trypanosomatids. It is involved in a number of key processes, including energy metabolism, resistance to oxidative and nutritional stress and osmoregulation. In addition, this amino acid supports critical parasite life cycle processes by acting as an energy source, thus enabling host-cell invasion by the parasite and subsequent parasite differentiation. In this paper, we demonstrate that L-proline is oxidized to Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) by the enzyme proline dehydrogenase (TcPRODH, E.C. localized in Trypanosoma cruzi mitochondria. When expressed in its active form in Escherichia coli, TcPRODH exhibits a Km of 16.58±1.69 µM and a Vmax of 66±2 nmol/min mg. Furthermore, we demonstrate that TcPRODH is a FAD-dependent dimeric state protein. TcPRODH mRNA and protein expression are strongly upregulated in the intracellular epimastigote, a stage which requires an external supply of proline. In addition, when Saccharomyces cerevisiae null mutants for this gene (PUT1) were complemented with the TcPRODH gene, diminished free intracellular proline levels and an enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress in comparison to the null mutant were observed, supporting the hypothesis that free proline accumulation constitutes a defense against oxidative imbalance. Finally, we show that proline oxidation increases cytochrome c oxidase activity in mitochondrial vesicles. Overall, these results demonstrate that TcPRODH is involved in proline-dependant cytoprotection during periods of oxidative imbalance and also shed light on the participation of proline in energy metabolism, which drives critical processes of the T. cruzi life cycle.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "An example is l-thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, an analogue of l-proline that showed significant effects on T. cruzi epimastigote l-proline metabolism and life cycle. The drug also showed activity against trypomastigotes at concentrations that are non-toxic to mammalian cells [4]. This finding suggests that the thiazolidine family of drugs could be used as potential chemotherapeutic agents. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is an endemic illness in Latin America. Efforts have been made by several groups to develop new effective and safe anti-T. cruzi drugs. In the present work, we show that thiazolidine LPSF SF29 inhibited growth of the epimastigote and amastigote forms and caused lysis in the trypomastigote form of T. cruzi, leading to death of the protozoan. Mitochondrial dysfunction was also observed. The thiazolidine induced ultrastructural alterations such as detachment of the flagellar membrane, intense mitochondrial swelling, formation of myelin-like figures and the appearance of autophagosomes. Taken together, these results suggest that this new thiazolidine is active against T. cruzi and constitutes a promising drug for the therapy of Chagas disease.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · International journal of antimicrobial agents
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    • "The participation of the accumulation of proline, as well as that of a main metabolite of its oxidation (glutamate ) in the resistance to oxidative stress in T. cruzi has already been demonstrated [180] [181] "
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    ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas' disease, which affects some 8 - 10 million people in the Americas. The only two drugs approved for the etiological treatment of the disease in humans were launched more than 40 years ago and have serious drawbacks. In the present work, we revisit the unique characteristics of T. cruzi mitochondria and mitochondrial metabolism. The possibility of taking advantage of these peculiarities to target new drugs against this parasite is also discussed.
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