Raquel Álvarez-Velilla

Learn More
BACKGROUND Leishmania major cutaneous leishmaniasis is an infectious zoonotic disease. It is produced by a digenetic parasite, which resides in the phagolysosomal compartment of different mammalian macrophage populations. There is an urgent need to develop new therapies (drugs) against this neglected disease that hits developing countries. The main goal of(More)
L-Arginine is one of the precursor amino acids of polyamine biosynthesis in most living organisms including Leishmania parasites. L-Arginine is enzymatically hydrolyzed by arginase producing L-ornithine and urea. In Leishmania spp. and other trypanosomatids a single gene encoding arginase has been described. The product of this gene is compartmentalized in(More)
The novel fatty acids (2R,5Z,9Z)-2-methoxy-25-methyl-5,9-hexacosadienoic acid (1a) and (2R,5Z,9Z)-2-methoxy-24-methyl-5,9-hexacosadienoic acid (1b) were isolated in 80 % purity from the Caribbean sponge Asteropus niger by chloroform/methanol extraction followed by solvent partitioning and silica gel column chromatography. The compounds were characterized by(More)
Visceral leishmaniasis is an emerging neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Basin. Currently there is no effective vaccine against this disease, and the therapeutic approach is based on toxic derivatives of Sb(V). Therefore, the discovery of new therapeutic targets and the(More)
BACKGROUND Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is hypoendemic in the Mediterranean region, where it is caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum. An effective vaccine for humans is not yet available and the severe side-effects of the drugs in clinical use, linked to the parenteral administration route of most of them, are significant concerns of the current(More)
Sponges biosynthesize α-methoxylated fatty acids with unusual biophysical and biological properties and in some cases they display enhanced anticancer activities. However, the antiprotozoal properties of the α-methoxylated fatty acids have been less studied. In this work, we describe the total synthesis of (5Z,9Z)-(±)-2-methoxy-5, 9-eicosadienoic acid (1)(More)
BACKGROUND The mode of reproduction in Leishmania spp has been argued to be essentially clonal. However, recent data (genetic analysis of populations and co-infections in sand flies) have proposed the existence of a non-obligate sexual cycle in the extracellular stage of the parasite within the sand fly vector. In this article we propose the existence of(More)
BACKGROUND Leishmania donovani - the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis - has several evolutionary characteristics that make the disease difficult to combat. Among these differences, a rare heterodimeric DNA topoisomerase IB has been reported thus opening a new promising field in the therapy of leishmaniasis. Several studies of the human enzyme have(More)
Drug discovery programs sponsored by public or private initiatives pursue the same ambitious goal: a crushing defeat of major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) during this decade. Both target-based and target-free screenings have pros and cons when it comes to finding potential small-molecule leads among chemical libraries consisting of myriads of(More)
The aim of this work is the in vitro and ex vivo assessment of the leishmanicidal activity of camptothecin and three analogues used in cancer therapy: topotecan (Hycantim®), gimatecan (ST1481) and the pro-drug irinotecan (Camptosar®) as well as its active metabolite SN-38 against Leishmania infantum. The activity of camptothecin and its derivatives was(More)