Linearolactone and Kaempferol Disrupt the Actin Cytoskeleton in Entamoeba histolytica: Inhibition of Amoebic Liver Abscess Development

J Nat Prod. 2020 Dec 24;83(12):3671-3680. doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.0c00892. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


Linearolactone (1) and kaempferol (2) have amebicidal activity in in vitro studies. The type of cell death induced by 1 and 2 and their effects on the virulence of E. histolytica were analyzed by transmission and confocal electron microscopy, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and apoptosis, detected by flow cytometry with dichlorofluorescein 2',7'-diacetate and annexin-V binding, respectively, and confirmed by TUNEL. The interaction of 1 and 2 with actin was analyzed by docking, and the in vivo amoebicidal activity was established with the Mesocricetus auratus model; amebic liver abscess (ALA) development was evaluated by magnetic resonance (MR) and validated post mortem. In vitro, compounds 1 and 2 caused chromatin condensation, intracellular ROS, and loss of actin structures. Coupling analysis showed that they bind to the allosteric and catalytic sites of actin with binding energies of -11.30 and -8.45 kcal/mol, respectively. Treatments with 1 and 2 induced a decrease in ALA formation without toxic effects on the liver and kidney. Thus, compound 1, but not 2, was able to induce apoptosis-like effects in E. histolytica trophozoites by intracellular production of ROS that affected the actin cytoskeleton structuration. In vivo, compound 1 was more active than compound 2 to reduce the development of ALA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't