The latest advances concerning drug design and chemotherapy development to combat the Chagas’ disease are discussed. This chapter is based on the metabolic differences between the pathogenic parasite and mammal hosts that led to the progress in the search for novel metabolic pathways in parasites that may be essential for parasite’s survival but with no counterpart in the host. There is a considerable amount of work in the search of more promising molecular targets for drug design. However, the chemotherapy for this disease remains unsolved. It is based on old and fairly not specific drugs associated with long-term treatments, severe side effects, drug resistance, and different strains’ susceptibility. Herein, a thorough analysis of selected molecular targets is described in terms of their potential usefulness for drug design. Therefore, rational approaches to the chemotherapeutic control of American trypanosomiasis describing some useful metabolic pathways are covered. Enzymes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis (squalene synthase, HMG-CoA reductase, farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS), sterol 24-methyltransferase, and sterol 14α-demethylase), trypanothione system (glutathionyl-spermidine synthetase, trypanothione synthetase, and trypanothione reductase), cysteine proteases, trans-sialidase, and so on are discussed. The design of specific inhibitors of these metabolic activities as possible means of controlling the parasites without damaging the hosts is presented.
Part of the book: Chagas Disease