Miransertib (ARQ 092), an orally-available, selective Akt inhibitor is effective against Leishmania.
Authors of this article are:
Nandan D, Zhang N, Yu Y, Schwartz B, Chen S, Kima PE, Reiner NE.
A summary of the article is shown below:
Leishmaniasis is amongst the most important neglected diseases, afflicting more than 12 million people in 88 countries. There is an urgent need for safe orally bioavailable and cost-effective drugs for the treatment of leishmaniasis. It has recently been shown that Leishmania activates host macrophage serine/threonine kinase Akt, to promote survival of both parasites and infected cells. Here, we sought to evaluate a compound, Miransertib (ARQ 092), an orally bioavailable and selective allosteric Akt inhibitor currently in clinical trials for patients with PI3K/Akt-driven tumors or Proteus syndrome. Miransertib was tested against Leishmania donovani and Leishmania amazonensis, causative agents of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. Cultured promastigotes were susceptible to Miransertib. In addition, Miransertib was markedly effective against intracellular amastigotes of L. donovani or L. amazonensis-infected macrophages. Miransertib also enhanced mTOR dependent autophagy in Leishmania-infected macrophages, which may represent one mechanism of Miransertib-mediated killing of intracellular Leishmania. Whereas parasite clearance in the spleen of mice infected with L. donovani and treated with Miransertib was comparable to that when treated with miltefosine, Miransertib caused a greater reduction in the parasite load in the liver. In the cutaneous leishmaniasis infection model, lesions were reduced by 40% as compared to mock treated mice. Together, these results provide direct evidence to support the conclusion that Miransertib is an excellent lead compound for the development of a new oral drug therapy for visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis.
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