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An essential vesicular-trafficking phospholipase mediates neutral lipid synthesis and contributes to hemozoin formation in Plasmodium falciparum

August 17, 2021 - 15:57 -- Open Access
Asad M, Yamaryo-Botté Y, Hossain ME, Thakur V, Jain S, Datta G, Botté CY, Mohmmed A
BMC Biol. 2021 Aug 11;19(1):159

Plasmodium falciparum is the pathogen responsible for the most devastating form of human malaria. As it replicates asexually in the erythrocytes of its human host, the parasite feeds on haemoglobin uptaken from these cells. Heme, a toxic by-product of haemoglobin utilization by the parasite, is neutralized into inert hemozoin in the food vacuole of the parasite. Lipid homeostasis and phospholipid metabolism are crucial for this process, as well as for the parasite’s survival and propagation within the host. P. falciparum harbours a uniquely large family of phospholipases, which are suggested to play key roles in lipid metabolism and utilization.

Hemozoin and Malaria : a love-hate affair

July 5, 2021 - 17:31 -- Pierre Lutgen

Mutaz Akkawi, Pascal Gisenya, Jérôme Munyangi, Pierre Lutgen

…or the key of malaria transmission.

Already 25 years ago it was known that malaria pigment (hemozoin, Hz, biocrystallized heme) is not an inert material. Crude pigment, as present in infected erythrocytes and shed after schizont rupture, may be considered the 'natural diet' ingested by macrophages in infected blood. Hemozoin is a powerful source of radicals, necrosis factor-alpha, interleukins 1 and 6.

Hemozoin in Malarial Complications: More Questions Than Answers

March 3, 2021 - 16:38 -- Open Access
Pham TT, Lamb TJ, Deroost K, Opdenakker G, Van den Steen PE
Trends Parasitol. 2021 Mar;37(3):226-239

Plasmodium parasites contain various virulence factors that modulate the host immune response. Malarial pigment, or hemozoin (Hz), is an undegradable crystalline product of the hemoglobin degradation pathway in the parasite and possesses immunomodulatory properties.

NOT Open Access | Identification of 2,4-Disubstituted Imidazopyridines as Hemozoin Formation Inhibitors with Fast-Killing Kinetics and In Vivo Efficacy in the Plasmodium falciparum NSG Mouse Model

October 28, 2020 - 09:51 -- NOT Open Access
Horatscheck A, Andrijevic A, Chibale K, et al.
J Med Chem. 2020 Oct 25

A series of 2,4-disubstituted imidazopyridines, originating from a SoftFocus Kinase library, was identified from a high throughput phenotypic screen against the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Hit compounds showed moderate asexual blood stage activity.

Rapid quantification of the malaria biomarker hemozoin by improved biocatalytically initiated precipitation atom transfer radical polymerizations

October 7, 2020 - 14:35 -- Open Access
Raccio S, Pollard J, Djuhadi A, Balog S, Pellizzoni MM, Rodriguez KJ, Rifaie-Graham O, Bruns N
Analyst. 2020 Oct 1

The fight against tropical diseases such as malaria requires the development of innovative biosensing techniques. Diagnostics must be rapid and robust to ensure prompt case management and to avoid further transmission. The malaria biomarker hemozoin can catalyze atom transfer radical polymerizations (ATRP), which we exploit in a polymerization-amplified biosensing assay for hemozoin based on the precipitation polymerization of N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAAm).

Rapid and quantitative antimalarial drug efficacy testing via the magneto-optical detection of hemozoin

August 24, 2020 - 15:07 -- Open Access
Molnár P, Orbán Á, Izrael R, Babai R, Marton L, Butykai Á, Karl S, Vértessy BG, Kézsmárki I
Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 20;10(1):14025

Emergence of resistant Plasmodium species makes drug efficacy testing a crucial part of malaria control. Here we describe a novel assay for sensitive, fast and simple drug screening via the magneto-optical detection of hemozoin, a natural biomarker formed during the hemoglobin metabolism of Plasmodium species. By quantifying hemozoin production over the intraerythrocytic cycle, we reveal that hemozoin formation is already initiated by ~ 6-12 h old ring-stage parasites.

Malaria pigment crystals as magnetic micro-rotors: key for high-sensitivity diagnosis

March 13, 2013 - 04:12 -- Open Access
A. Butykai, A. Orbán, V. Kocsis, D. Szaller, S. Bordács, E. Tátrai-Szekeres, L. F. Kiss, A. Bóta, B. G. Vértessy, T. Zelles & I. Kézsmárki
Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 1431

Here, we suggest an alternative optical methodology with an easy-to-use and cost-effective instrumentation based on unique properties of malaria pigment reported previously and determined quantitatively in the present study. 

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