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Zinc depletion promotes apoptosis-like death in drug-sensitive and antimony-resistance Leishmania donovani.

Sci Rep; 7(1): 10488, 2017 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28874760
Micronutrients are essential for survival and growth for all the organisms including pathogens. In this manuscript, we report that zinc (Zn) chelator N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-pyridinylmethyl)-1,2-ethylenediamine (TPEN) affects growth and viability of intracellular pathogen Leishmania donovani (LD) by a concentration and time dependent manner. Simultaneous addition of zinc salt reverses the effect of TPEN. Further experiments provide evidence of apoptosis-like death of the parasite due to Zn-depletion. TPEN treatment enhances caspase-like activity suggesting increase in apoptosis-like events in LD. Specific inhibitors of cathepsin B and Endoclease G block TPEN-induced leishmanial death. Evidences show involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) potentially of extra-mitochondrial origin in TPEN-induced LD death. Pentavalent antimonials remained the prime source of treatment against leishmaniasis for several decades; however, antimony-resistant Leishmania is now common source of the disease. We also reveal that Zn-depletion can promote apoptosis-like death in antimony-resistant parasites. In summary, we present a new finding about the role of zinc in the survival of drug sensitive and antimony-resistant LD.