Molecular Basis of the Leishmanicidal Activity of the Antidepressant Sertraline as a Drug Repurposing Candidate.Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 12; 62(12)AA
Drug repurposing affords the implementation of new treatments at a moderate cost and under a faster time-scale. Most of the clinical drugs against Leishmania share this origin. The antidepressant sertraline has been successfully assayed in a murine model of visceral leishmaniasis. Nevertheless, sertraline targets in Leishmania were poorly defined. In order to get a detailed insight into the leishmanicidal mechanism of sertraline on Leishmania infantum, unbiased multiplatform metabolomics and transmission electron microscopy were combined with a focused insight into the sertraline effects on the bioenergetics metabolism of the parasite. Sertraline induced respiration uncoupling, a significant decrease of intracellular ATP level, and oxidative stress in L. infantum promastigotes. Metabolomics evidenced an extended metabolic disarray caused by sertraline. This encompasses a remarkable variation of the levels of thiol-redox and polyamine biosynthetic intermediates, as well as a shortage of intracellular amino acids used as metabolic fuel by Leishmania Sertraline killed Leishmania through a multitarget mechanism of action, tackling essential metabolic pathways of the parasite. As such, sertraline is a valuable candidate for visceral leishmaniasis treatment under a drug repurposing strategy.