Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium genus. which P. falciparum is responsible for the most severe form of the disease, cerebral malaria. In 2018, 405,000 people died of malaria. Antimalarial drugs have serious adverse effects and limited efficacy due to multidrug-resistant strains. One way to overcome these limitations is the use of computational approaches for prioritizing candidates to phenotypic assays and/or in vitro assays against validated targets. Plasmodium falciparum Enoyl-ACP reductase (PfENR) is noteworthy because it catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the biosynthetic pathway of fatty acid.
Unique lindenane sesquiterpenoid dimers from Chloranthecae spp. were recently identified with promising in vitro antiplasmodial activity and potentially novel mechanisms of action. To gain mechanistic insights to this new class of natural products, in vitro selection of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to the most active antiplasmodial compound, chlorajaponilide C, was explored.