The eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes millions of malarial infections annually while drug resistance to common anti-malarials is further confounding eradication efforts. Translation is an attractive therapeutic target that will benefit from a deeper mechanistic understanding. As the rate limiting step of translation, initiation is a primary driver of translational efficiency. It is a complex process regulated by both cis and trans acting factors, providing numerous potential targets. Relative to model organisms and humans, P. falciparum mRNAs feature unusual 5′ untranslated regions suggesting cis-acting sequence complexity in this parasite may act to tune levels of protein synthesis through their effects on translational efficiency.
Malaria is a devastating disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. Emerging resistance against current antimalarial therapeutics has engendered the need to develop antimalarials with novel structural classes. We recently described the identification and initial optimization of the 2-anilino quinazoline antimalarial class. Here, we refine the physicochemical properties of this antimalarial class with the aim to improve aqueous solubility and metabolism and to reduce adverse promiscuity. We show the physicochemical properties of this class are intricately balanced with asexual parasite activity and human cell cytotoxicity.
Plasmodium spp. malaria parasites in the blood stage draw energy from anaerobic glycolysis when multiplying in erythrocytes. They tap the ample glucose supply of the infected host using the erythrocyte glucose transporter 1, GLUT1, and a hexose transporter, HT, of the parasite's plasma membrane.
The Open Source Malaria (OSM) consortium is developing compounds that kill the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, by targeting PfATP4, an essential ion pump on the parasite surface. The structure of PfATP4 has not been determined. Here, we describe a public competition created to develop a predictive model for the identification of PfATP4 inhibitors, thereby reducing project costs associated with the synthesis of inactive compounds.
Substandard and falsified antimalarials contribute to the global malaria burden by increasing the risk of treatment failures, adverse events, unnecessary health expenditures, and avertable deaths, yet no study has examined this impact in western francophone Africa to date. In Benin, where malaria remains endemic and is the leading cause of mortality among children younger than 5 years, there is a lack of robust data to combat the issue effectively and inform policy decisions. We adapted the Substandard and Falsified Antimalarial Research Impact model to assess the health and economic impact of poor-quality antimalarials in this population.
The emergence of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to frontline antimalarials, including artemisinin combination therapies, highlights the need for new molecules that act via novel mechanisms of action. Herein, we report the design, synthesis and antimalarial activity of a series of 2-aminobenzimidazoles, featuring a phenol moiety that is crucial to the pharmacophore.
Falcipain-2 (FP-2) is a Plasmodium falciparum hemoglobinase widely targeted in the search for antimalarials. FP-2 can be allosterically modulated by various noncompetitive inhibitors that have been serendipitously identified. Moreover, the crystal structures of two inhibitors bound to an allosteric site, termed site 6, of the homolog enzyme human cathepsin K (hCatK) suggest that the equivalent region in FP-2 might play a similar role.
The use of quantitative qRT-PCR assays for detection and quantification of late gametocyte stages has revealed the high transmission capacity of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To understand how the parasite adjusts its transmission in response to in-host environmental conditions including antimalarials requires simultaneous quantification of early and late gametocytes.
Amodiaquine is a 4-aminoquinoline antimalarial similar to chloroquine that is used extensively for the treatment and prevention of malaria. Data on the cardiovascular effects of amodiaquine are scarce, although transient effects on cardiac electrophysiology (electrocardiographic QT interval prolongation and sinus bradycardia) have been observed. We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis to characterise the cardiovascular effects of amodiaquine and thereby support development of risk minimisation measures to improve the safety of this important antimalarial.
Drugs used in curative and prophylactic antimalarial treatment may be ototoxic and lead to permanent hearing loss, but there is no consensus regarding prevalence and permanence of ototoxic hearing loss caused by antimalarials. The purpose of this systematic narrative review was to synthesize current evidence on antimalarial ototoxicity in human populations.