Inhibition of leishmanias but not host macrophages by the antitubulin herbicide trifluralin

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Science  24 Aug 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4971, pp. 924-926
DOI: 10.1126/science.2392684


The dinitroaniline herbicide trifluralin (alpha, alpha, alpha-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N, N-dipropyl-p-toluidine), at micromolar concentrations, selectively inhibited both proliferation and differentiation of the parasitic protozoan Leishmania mexicana amazonensis. In vitro, radioactive trifluralin showed specific binding to leishmania tubulin but not to mammalian tubulin. Because herbicides such as trifluralin are economical and are considered safe for man and domesticated animals, they may serve as useful sources of potential antiparasitic agents.

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