home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Anti-Malarials Explained

 
  August, 26 2003 7:38
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
A molecular target for the class of anti-malaria drugs called artemisinins has been identified, researchers report in this week's Nature (Vol. 424, No. 6951, 21 Aug. 2003, pp. 957-961).

Artemisinins have become increasingly important for treating malaria as resistance to existing drugs spreads. In some parts of southeast Asia they are the only effective anti-malarial. They were discovered in the 1970s - extracted from the Chinese herb quingao or sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua), a long-recognised anti-malarial remedy. Their mode of action however, remained obscure. The leading theory was that artemisinins interact with haem molecules, a breakdown product of the malaria parasite's human red-blood-cell meal. The interaction was thought to release massive quantities of free radicals - enough to kill the parasite.

Not so, find Sanjeev Krishna and colleagues. They show that artemesinins block the action of a metabolic enzyme called PfATP6 that is crucial to the life of the parasite. The finding could eventually lead to the manufacture of synthetic artemisinins with greater preference for PfATP6. In the short-term, studying the genetics of PfATP6 in populations of wild parasites could help to pre-empt resistance that has rendered other drugs useless, the researchers claim.

Krishna's work "has a practical significance beyond its undoubted scientific merit," comments Robert Ridley in an accompanying News and Views article.

CONTACT:

Sanjeev Krishna
St George’s Hospital Medical School
London, UK
Tel: +44 20 8725 5836
E-mail: s.krishna@sghms.ac.uk

Robert Ridley
World Health Organisation
Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 791 3767
E-mail: ridleyr@who.int

(C) Nature press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.