Thianthrene is a novel inhibitor of Leishmania donovani pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1)

Jaspreet Kaur, Divya Dube, Ravishankar Ramachandran, Prashant Singh, Neeloo Singh


Pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) from Leishmania donovani is a short chain reductase that catalyses the NADPH-dependent reduction of folates and pterins. It has gained attention as a therapeutic target because it acts as a metabolic bypass for dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) targeting drugs and is thought to be responsible for the failure of conventional therapies against the trypanosomatids. In the present study, we report the identification of thianthrene as a potent inhibitor of L. donovani PTR1 (LdPTR1) based on both structure-based virtual screening and experimental verification. Thianthrene displayed uncompetitive mixed type inhibition in a recombinant enzyme inhibition assay. In addition, cell based assays and flow cytometry showed that the intracellular amastigotes were inhibited by thianthrene in vitro. The results of our study could be considered for the development of novel therapeutics based on PTR1 inhibition.


antileishmanial agent; pteridine reductase 1; leishmania donovani; molecular modeling; in silico docking; flow cytometry; thianthrene


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