In-vitro safety and off-target profile of the anti-parasitic arylmethylaminosteroid 1o
Parasite-mediated diseases like malaria and schistosomiasis are growing health problems worldwide and novel drug candidates are urgently needed. In this study, the in-vitro safety profile of steroid compound 1o (sc1o), effective against the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Schistosoma mansoni with an IC50 value of 5 nM, was characterized. We assessed viability/proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle tests to determine the cytotoxic profile of sc1o in cancer cells. The mutagenic potential was determined with the AMES test. To identify off-target effects we investigated whether sc1o interacts with safety-relevant molecules such as cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, phosphodiesterases (PDE), histone deacteylases (HDAC) and human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG). Furthermore, to predict the potential bioavailability of sc1o, its effect on Caco-2 cell barrier integrity, by measurement of the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), was determined. Sc1o at 25 µM reduced cell viability, probably through cell-cycle arrest, but did not induce apoptosis in cancer cells. No adverse off-target effects nor mutagenic potential of sc1o were observed. Furthermore, sc1o did not disturb the integrity of the cell barrier, but exhibited low membrane permeability, apparently due to cell adherence. In conclusion, sc1o up to 10 µM showed a good in-vitro safety profile.