Adverse effects and resistance to metronidazole have motivated the search for new antiamoebic agents against Entamoeba histolytica. Control of amoeba growth may be achieved by inhibiting the function of the glycolytic enzyme and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK). In this study, we screened 10 compounds using an in vitro PPDK enzyme assay. These compounds were selected from a virtual screening of compounds in the National Cancer Institute database. The antiamoebic activity of the selected compounds was also evaluated by determining minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and IC50 values using the nitro-blue tetrazolium reduction assay. Seven of the 10 compounds showed inhibitory activities against the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)/inorganic phosphate binding site of the ATP-grasp domain. Two compounds, NSC349156 (pancratistatin) and NSC228137 (7-ethoxy-4-[4-methylphenyl] sulfonyl-3-oxido-2, 1, 3-benzoxadiazol-3-ium), exhibited inhibitory effects on the growth of E. histolytica trophozoites with MIC values of 25 and 50 μM, and IC50 values of 14 and 20.7 μM, respectively.
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