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In Vitro Evaluation of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor and its Effect in Combination with 3-Hydroxy-3-Methyl-Glutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitor against Naegleria fowleri

Authors
  • Hahn, Hye Jee
  • Debnath, Anjan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pathogens
Publisher
MDPI
Publication Date
Aug 22, 2020
Volume
9
Issue
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens9090689
PMID: 32842691
PMCID: PMC7560193
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri causes a rapidly fatal infection primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in children. The drug of choice in treating PAM is amphotericin B, but very few patients treated with amphotericin B have survived PAM. Therefore, development of efficient drugs is a critical unmet need. We identified that the FDA-approved pitavastatin, an inhibitor of HMG Co-A reductase involved in the mevalonate pathway, was equipotent to amphotericin B against N. fowleri trophozoites. The genome of N. fowleri contains a gene encoding protein farnesyltransferase (FT), the last common enzyme for products derived from the mevalonate pathway. Here, we show that a clinically advanced FT inhibitor lonafarnib is active against different strains of N. fowleri with EC50 ranging from 1.5 to 9.2 µM. A combination of lonafarnib and pitavastatin at different ratios led to 95% growth inhibition of trophozoites and the combination achieved a dose reduction of about 2- to 28-fold for lonafarnib and 5- to 30-fold for pitavastatin. No trophozoite with normal morphology was found when trophozoites were treated for 48 h with a combination of 1.7 µM each of lonafarnib and pitavastatin. Combination of lonafarnib and pitavastatin may contribute to the development of a new drug regimen for the treatment of PAM.

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