Falcipain-2 (FP-2) is hemoglobinase considered an attractive drug target of Plasmodium falciparum. Recently, it has been shown that peptidomimetic nitriles containing a 3-pyridine (3Pyr) moiety at P2 display high affinity and selectivity for FP-2 with respect to human cysteine cathepsins (hCats). Further characterization demonstrated that certain P3 variants of these compounds possess micromolar inhibition of parasite growth in vitro and no cytotoxicity against human cell lines.
Novel drug development against malaria parasite over the old conventional anti-malarial drugs is essential due to rapid and indiscriminate use of drugs, which led to the emergence of resistant strains. In this study, previously reported triazole-amino acid hybrids (13-18) have been explored against Plasmodium falciparum as antimalarial agents. Among the six compounds, 15 and 18 exhibited antimalarial activity against P. falciparum with insignificant hemolytic activity and cytotoxicity towards HepG2 mammalian cells. Antimalarial half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 15 and 18 compounds was found to be 9.26 μM and 20.62 μM, respectively.
The Plasmodium falciparum cysteine protease falcipain-2 (FP-2) is an attractive antimalarial target. Here, we discovered that the natural compound NP1024 is a nonpeptidic inhibitor of FP-2 with an IC50 value of 0.44 μmol L−1.