The protein kinase PfCLK3 plays a critical role in the regulation of malarial parasite RNA splicing and is essential for the survival of blood stage Plasmodium falciparum. We recently validated PfCLK3 as a drug target in malaria that offers prophylactic, transmission blocking, and curative potential. Herein, we describe the synthesis of our initial hit TCMDC-135051 (1) and efforts to establish a structure-activity relationship with a 7-azaindole-based series.
Plasmodium knowlesi is a potential cause of severe and fatal malaria, but comprehensive studies of its pooled prevalence and risk factors are lacking. This study aimed to explore the prevalence and risk factors related to severe P. knowlesi infection.
The search for antimalarial chemotypes with modes of action unrelated to existing drugs has intensified with the recent failure of first-line therapies across Southeast Asia. Here, we show that the trisubstituted imidazole MMV030084 potently inhibits hepatocyte invasion by Plasmodium sporozoites, merozoite egress from asexual blood stage schizonts, and male gamete exflagellation.
Three novel tracers designed as fluorescent surrogates of artemisinin-derived antimalarial drugs (i.e., dihydroartemisinin, artemether, arteether, and artemisone) were synthesized from dihydroartemisinin.
Mixed Plasmodium malaria infections can lead to severe malaria. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to explore the prevalence of severe mixed Plasmodium malaria infection and to compare it with the prevalence of severe P. falciparum malaria mono-infection across the included studies. Original English-language research articles from PubMed, Scopus, and ISI Web of Science were identified and screened.
Widespread resistance against antimalarial drugs thwarts current efforts for controlling the disease and urges the discovery of new effective treatments. Drug repositioning is increasingly becoming an attractive strategy since it can reduce costs, risks and time-to-market. Herein we have used this strategy to identify novel antimalarial hits. We performed a comparative in silico chemogenomics approach to select Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax proteins as potential drug targets and analyzed these using a computer-assisted drug repositioning pipeline to identify approved drugs with potential antimalarial activity. Among seven drugs identified as promising antimalarial candidates, the anthracycline epirubicin was selected for further experimental validation.
The current context of malaria elimination requires urgent development and implementation of highly sensitive and specific methods for prompt detection and treatment of malaria parasites. Such methods should overcome current delays in diagnosis, allow the detection of low-density infections and address the difficulties in accessing remote endemic communities. In this study, we assessed the performance of the RealAmp and malachite-green loop mediated isothermal amplification (MG-LAMP) methodologies, using microscopy and conventional nested-PCR as reference techniques.
The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, contains an essential plastid called the apicoplast. Most apicoplast proteins are encoded by the nuclear genome and it is unclear how the plastid proteome is regulated. Here, we study an apicoplast-localized caseinolytic-protease (Clp) system and how it regulates organelle proteostasis. Using null and conditional mutants, we demonstrate that the P. falciparum Clp protease (PfClpP) has robust enzymatic activity that is essential for apicoplast biogenesis.
Upon Plasmodium falciparum merozoites exposure to low [K+] environment in blood plasma, there is escalation of cytosolic [Ca2+] which activates Ca2+-Dependent Protein Kinase 1 (CDPK1), a signaling hub of intra-erythrocytic proliferative stages of parasite. Given its high abundance and multidimensional attributes in parasite life-cycle, this is a lucrative target for desiging antimalarials.
Quinoline-based scaffolds have been the mainstay of antimalarial drugs, including many artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), over the history of modern drug development. Although much progress has been made in the search for novel antimalarial scaffolds, it may be that quinolines will remain useful, especially if very potent compounds from this class are discovered.