The Qi Site of Cytochrome b is a Promiscuous Drug Target in Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania donovani: ACS Infectious Diseases

Richard J. Wall, Sandra Carvalho, Rachel Milne, Juan A. Bueren-Calabuig, Sonia Moniz, Juan Cantizani-Perez, Lorna MacLean, Albane Kessler, Ignacio Cotillo, Lalitha Sastry, Sujatha Manthri, Stephen Patterson, Fabio Zuccotto, Stephen Thompson, Julio Martin, Maria Marco, Timothy J. Miles, Manu De Rycker, Michael G. Thomas, Alan H. FairlambIan H. Gilbert, Susan Wyllie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Available treatments for Chagas’ disease and visceral leishmaniasis are inadequate, and there is a pressing need for new therapeutics. Drug discovery efforts for both diseases principally rely upon phenotypic screening. However, the optimization of phenotypically active compounds is hindered by a lack of information regarding their molecular target(s). To combat this issue we initiate target deconvolution studies at an early stage. Here, we describe comprehensive genetic and biochemical studies to determine the targets of three unrelated phenotypically active compounds. All three structurally diverse compounds target the Qi active-site of cytochrome b, part of the cytochrome bc1 complex of the electron transport chain. Our studies go on to identify the Qi site as a promiscuous drug target in Leishmania donovani and Trypanosoma cruzi with a propensity to rapidly mutate. Strategies to rapidly identify compounds acting via this mechanism are discussed to ensure that drug discovery portfolios are not overwhelmed with inhibitors of a single target.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-528
Number of pages14
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


  • Leishmania donovani
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • cytochrome b
  • drug target
  • mechanism of action

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Qi Site of Cytochrome b is a Promiscuous Drug Target in Trypanosoma cruzi and <i>Leishmania donovani</i>: ACS Infectious Diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this