Experimental parasitology

In vitro anti-leishmanial efficacy of potato tuber extract (PTEx): leishmanial serine protease(s) as putative target.

PMID 25128800


Leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease (NTD) causes major health problems in the tropical and subtropical world. Most of the antileishmanial modern therapies with different formulations of pentavalent antimonials, Miltefosine, Amphotericin B etc. are not satisfactory in recent times due to high toxicity to the host and present rising strain resistance issues. So there is an urgent need to develop new, safe and cost-effective drugs against leishmaniasis. In this regard, bioactive phytocomponents may lead to the discovery of new medicines with appropriate efficiency. The prominent roles played by Leishmania proteases in the virulence of this parasite make them very promising targets for the development of current therapeutics of leishmaniasis. As part of a search for novel drugs, we have evaluated in vitro anti-leishmanial activity of serine protease inhibitor rich fraction (PTEx) obtained from potato tuber. The extract (PTEx) was prepared by sodium bisulfite fractionation and inhibitors were identified by reverse zymography. Inhibition study of PTEx in gelatin-zymogram and spectrophotometric assay using BApNA and BTpNA as substrate reveal its strong inhibitory activity against trypsin as well as serine proteases present in cell lysate of Leishmania donovani infective strain. The in vitro MTT based colorimetric assay as well as ex vivo L. donovani infected macrophages showed reduced parasite viability and intracellular parasite load with IC50 = 312.5 ± 0.1 μg/ml and IC50 82.3 ± 0.2 μg/ml of PTEx respectively in a concentration dependent manner. This anti-leishmanial effect was also preceded by PTEx induced acute formation of ROS and prolonged NO generation. The PTEx has no significant cytotoxic effect on host macrophages. So taken together, these findings indicate that PTEx has promising leishmanicidal effect and thus this study provides a new perspective of natural serine protease inhibitor from potato tuber on the development of new drug against leishmaniasis.