Computer assisted design of potentially active anti-trypanosomal compounds
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A computer assisted molecular modeling was used to design molecules having a shape complementary to the active site of glutathione reductase (GR) and trypanothione reductase (TR). The designed 5-nitro compound derivatives. were obtained from structural knowledge gleaned on glutathione (GSSG), trypanothione (T[S](2)) and GSP disulfide (glutathionylspermidine disulfide). These molecules form complexes with the enzymes GR and TR. The theoretical lead compound was: N1-[1-(5-nitro-2-furyl)methylidene]-N4-(4-[3-(2,2,2-trifluoroacetyl)hexahydro-1-1-pyrimidynil]butyl) semicarbazide (NPIPCO). A multidisciplinary team developed around the efforts to synthesize this lead. In this work we report on eight compounds that were synthesized in the pathway to NPIPCO: 4-(2-methoxyethyl)-1-, 4-butyl-1-, 4-hexyl-1- and 2-methoxphenyl-1-(5-nitrofurfurilidene) semicarbazides and the corresponding 5-nitrothiophenes. These substances are expected to act as pro-transition state analogues. Enzymologic studies proved that many of these compounds are inhibitors of TR. Furthermore, they showed inhibitory activity on Tripanosoma cruzi growth in vitro.