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Title: Tamoxifen acts on Trypanosoma cruzi sphingolipid pathway triggering an apoptotic death process
Authors: Landoni, Malena 
Piñero, Tamara 
Soprano, Luciana L 
Garcia-Bournissen, Facundo 
Fichera, Laura 
Esteva, Monica I 
Duschak, Vilma G 
Couto, Alicia S 
Keywords: Lipidomics;;Esfingolípidos;Trypanosoma cruzi;Tamoxifeno
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2019
Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications 
This study shows the effects of tamoxifen, a known estrogen receptor antagonist used in the treatment of breast cancer, on the sphingolipid pathway of Trypanosoma cruzi, searching for potential chemotherapeutic targets. A dose-dependent epimastigote growth inhibition at increasing concentration of tamoxifen was determined. In blood trypomastigotes, treatment with 10 μM showed 90% lysis, while 86% inhibition of intracellular amastigote development was obtained using 50 μM. Lipid extracts from treated and non-treated metabolically labelled epimastigotes evidenced by thin layer chromatography different levels of sphingolipids and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis assured the identity of the labelled species. Comparison by HPLC-ESI mass spectrometry of lipids, notably exhibited a dramatic increase in the level of ceramide in tamoxifen-treated parasites and a restrained increase of ceramide-1P and sphingosine, indicating that the drug is acting on the enzymes involved in the final breakdown of ceramide. The ultrastructural analysis of treated parasites revealed characteristic morphology of cells undergoing an apoptotic-like death process. Flow cytometry confirmed cell death by an apoptotic-like machinery indicating that tamoxifen triggers this process by acting on the parasitic sphingolipid pathway.
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.06.149
Appears in Collections:Publicaciones INP

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