Scientists find a headway in Antimalarial Drugs

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2017 13:51 IST

Scientists find a headway in Antimalarial Drugs .

Washington DC [USA], Oct 27 (ANI): A team of researchers has recently discovered new targets for drug development against life-threatening parasite">malaria parasite, which needs two proteins to infect red blood cells and exit after multiplying .

Plasmodium falciparum is the species of parasite that causes the most malaria deaths worldwide .

Researchers from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute in the U .S . sought to uncover the role of plasmepsins IX and X - two of the 10 types of plasmepsin proteins produced by P . falciparum for metabolic and other processes .

The findings indicated that one drug called CWHM-117, which has already been tested in a mouse model of malaria, may help researchers modify CWHM-117 to make it more effective .

They created parasite">malaria parasites that lacked plasmepsin IX or X under experimental conditions and compared them to those that had the two proteins .

The team found plasmepsin IX in rhoptries, specialised cell structures inside the parasite, which help to invade Red Blood Cells .

The parasites lacking plasmepsin IX had defective rhoptries .

In addition, they also observed plasmepsin X in exonemes-small vesicles (balloon-like structures) that help parasite">malaria parasites exit infected cells .

The team also discovered that plasmepsin X processes an important protein called SUB1 .

When deprived of plasmepsin X, the parasites could not process SUB1 and could not infect red blood cells or exit these cells after multiplying .

The researchers also identified three experimental malaria drugs that may work by targeting plasmepsin X .

Furthermore, parasites lacking the plasmepsins could potentially be used to screen candidate drugs to identify additional anti-malaria compounds .

The research appears in journal called 'Science' . (ANI)