Inhibition of 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A Reductase and Application of Statins as a Novel Effective Therapeutic Approach against Acanthamoeba Infections

Carmen Maria Martin-Navarro, Jacob Lorenzo-Morales, Ruben P. Machin, Atteneri Lopez-Arencibia, Jose Manuel Garcia-Castellano, Isabel de Fuentes, Brendan Loftus, Sutherland K. Maciver, Basilio Valladares, Jose E. Pineroa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Acanthamoeba is an opportunistic pathogen in humans, whose infections most commonly manifest as Acanthamoeba keratitis or, more rarely, granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. Although there are many therapeutic options for the treatment of Acanthamoeba, they are generally lengthy and/or have limited efficacy. Therefore, there is a requirement for the identification, validation, and development of novel therapeutic targets against these pathogens. Recently, RNA interference (RNAi) has been widely used for these validation purposes and has proven to be a powerful tool for Acanthamoeba therapeutics. Ergosterol is one of the major sterols in the membrane of Acanthamoeba. 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase is an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, one of the precursors for the production of cholesterol in humans and ergosterol in plants, fungi, and protozoa. Statins are compounds which inhibit this enzyme and so are promising as chemotherapeutics. In order to validate whether this enzyme could be an interesting therapeutic target in Acanthamoeba, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against HMG-CoA were developed and used to evaluate the effects induced by the inhibition of Acanthamoeba HMG-CoA. It was found that HMG-CoA is a potential drug target in these pathogenic free-living amoebae, and various statins were evaluated in vitro against three clinical strains of Acanthamoeba by using a colorimetric assay, showing important activities against the tested strains. We conclude that the targeting of HMG-CoA and Acanthamoeba treatment using statins is a novel powerful treatment option against Acanthamoeba species in human disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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