Flavonoids have previously been identified as antiparasitic agents and pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) inhibitors. Herein, we focus our attention on the chroman-4-one scaffold. Three chroman-4-one analogues (1-3) of previously published chromen-4-one derivatives were synthesized and biologically evaluated against parasitic enzymes (Trypanosoma brucei PTR1-TbPTR1 and Leishmania major-LmPTR1) and parasites (Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania infantum). A crystal structure of TbPTR1 in complex with compound 1 and the first crystal structures of LmPTR1-flavanone complexes (compounds 1 and 3) were solved. The inhibitory activity of the chroman-4-one and chromen-4-one derivatives was explained by comparison of observed and predicted binding modes of the compounds. Compound 1 showed activity both against the targeted enzymes and the parasites with a selectivity index greater than 7 and a low toxicity. Our results provide a basis for further scaffold optimization and structure-based drug design aimed at the identification of potent anti-trypanosomatidic compounds targeting multiple PTR1 variants.
Keywords: Leishmania spp.; Trypanosoma brucei; chroman-4-one; chromen-4-one; crystallographic studies; pteridine reductase 1.