In vitro leishmanicidal activity of pyrazole-containing polyamine macrocycles which inhibit the Fe-SOD enzyme of Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis species

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The in vitro leishmanicidal activity and cytotoxicity of pyrazole-containing macrocyclic polyamines 1–4 was assayed on Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis species. Compounds 1–4 were more active and less toxic than glucantime and both infection rates and ultrastructural alterations confirmed that 1 and 2 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications in the excretion products of parasites treated with 1–3 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasm alterations. Compound 2 was highlighted as a potent inhibitor of Fe-SOD in both species, whereas its effect on human CuZn-SOD was poor. Molecular modelling suggested that 2 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the enzyme's antioxidant features.

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