Multi-target mode of action of a Clerodane-type diterpenoid from Polyalthia longifolia targeting African trypanosomes

Ebiloma, Godwin U. and Katsoulis, Evangelos and Igoli, John O. and Gray, Alexander I. and De Koning, Harry P. (2018) Multi-target mode of action of a Clerodane-type diterpenoid from Polyalthia longifolia targeting African trypanosomes. Scientific Reports, 8 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2045-2322

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    Abstract

    Natural products have made remarkable contributions to drug discovery and therapy. In this work we exploited various biochemical approaches to investigate the mode of action of 16-α-hydroxy-cleroda-3,13 (14)-Z-dien-15,16-olide (HDK-20), which we recently isolated from Polyalthia longifolia, on Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream trypomastigotes. HDK20 at concentrations ≥ EC50 (0.4 μg/ml) was trypanocidal, with its effect irreversible after only a brief exposure time (<1 h). Fluorescence microscopic assessment of DNA configuration revealed severe cell cycle defects after 8 h of incubation with the compound, the equivalent of a single generation time. This was accompanied by DNA fragmentation as shown by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP Nick-End Labelling (TUNEL) assays. HDK-20 also induced a fast and profound depolarisation of the parasites' mitochondrial membrane potential and depleted intracellular ATP levels of T. brucei. Overall, HDK20 showed a multi-target mechanism of action, which provides a biochemical explanation for the promising anti-trypanosomatid activity in our previous report.