Design, Synthesis, and Repurposing of Rosmarinic Acid-β-Amino-α-Ketoamide Hybrids as Antileishmanial Agents

Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2023 Nov 12;16(11):1594. doi: 10.3390/ph16111594.


A series of rosmarinic acid-β-amino-α-ketoamide hybrids were synthesized and rationally repurposed towards the identification of new antileishmanial hit compounds. Two hybrids, 2g and 2h, showed promising activity (IC50 values of 9.5 and 8.8 μM against Leishmania donovani promastigotes, respectively). Their activities were comparable to erufosine. In addition, cytotoxicity evaluation employing human THP-1 cells revealed that the two hybrids 2g and 2h possess no cytotoxic effects up to 100 µM, while erufosine possessed cytotoxicity with CC50 value of 19.4 µM. In silico docking provided insights into structure-activity relationship emphasizing the importance of the aliphatic chain at the α-carbon of the cinnamoyl carbonyl group establishing favorable binding interactions with LdCALP and LARG in both hybrids 2g and 2h. In light of these findings, hybrids 2g and 2h are suggested as potential safe antileishmanial hit compounds for further development of anti-leishmanial agents.

Keywords: Leishmania donovani; antileishmanial agents; cinnamoyl-β-amino-α-ketoamides; drug repurposing; promastigotes; visceral leishmaniasis.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.