Antileishmanial effects of Crotalaria spectabilis Roth aqueous extracts on Leishmania amazonensis

Juliana S. Pacheco, Érika Maria G. F. Teixeira, Ramon G. Paschoal, Eduardo Caio Torres-Santos, Salvatore Giovanni De Simone, Raquel Elisa Da Silva-López (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Fifteen polar extracts from leaf, seed, pod, stem, flower and root of Crotalaria spectabilis were prepared using aqueous systems, based on the principles of green chemistry, and showed different protease inhibitor (PI) activities on trypsin, papain, pepsin and the extracellular L. amazonensis serine protease (LSPIII). The most pronounced inhibitory effect on LSPIII was observed in leaf (CS-P), root, stem, flower (CS-FPVPP) and pod (CS-VA) extracts. Crotalaria extracts exhibited low cytotoxicity on macrophages; however, they decreased the viability of L. amazonensis promastigotes and amastigotes, as observed in leaf (CS-AE, CS-P, CS-T and CS-PVPP), seed (CS-ST), flower and root (CS-RA) extracts. CS-P was chosen to study PI and secondary metabolites and a 10-12 kDa protein, analyzed by mass spectrometry, was identified as a serine PI homologous with papaya latex serine PI. Glycosylated flavonoids, such as quercetins, vitexin and tricin were the major secondary metabolites of CS-P. The presence of PIs in C. spectabilis is a new finding, especially in other organs than seeds since PIs have been reported only in seed legumes. Besides, this is the first report of antileishmanial activity of C. spectabilis extracts and the identification of serine polypeptide PI and glycosylated flavonoids from leaf.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20220613
Number of pages23
JournalAnais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Issue numberSupplement 1
Early online date4 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Crotalaria
  • Fabaceae
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Leishmania
  • Serine
  • Leishmania pro-teases
  • aqueous extracts
  • Crotalaria spectabilis
  • protease inhibitors
  • Leishmania viability
  • flavonoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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