Drug therapy is the mainstay of antimalarial therapy, yet current drugs are threatened by the development of resistance. In an effort to identify new potential anti-malarials we have undertaken a lead optimization program around our previously identified triazolopyrimidine-based series of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (PfDHODH) inhibitors. The X-ray structure of PfDHODH was used to inform the medicinal chemistry program allowing the identification of a potent and selective inhibitor (DSM265) that acts through DHODH inhibition to kill both sensitive and drug resistant strains of the parasite. This compound has similar potency to chloroquine in the humanized SCID mouse P. falciparum model, can be synthesized by a simple route, and rodent pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated it has excellent oral bioavailability, a long half-life and low clearance. These studies have identified the first candidate in the triazolopyrimidine series to meet previously established progression criteria for efficacy and ADME properties, justifying further development of this compound towards clinical candidate status.
We report the case of a 46-year-old man who developed syncope, a widened QRS interval, and depressed left ventricular systolic function during propafenone therapy for atrial fibrillation. These acute findings may have been consequent to an increased dosage of propafenone combined with heavy alcohol consumption that led to decreased metabolism of propafenone. In addition, propafenone is known to interfere with liver function, although this patient's test results showed scant evidence of liver abnormalities. Yet another possible factor is the genetic spectrum in the metabolism of propafenone and other class I antiarrhythmic agents. When propafenone is prescribed, we recommend advising patients that alcohol consumption and interactions with other drugs can lead to increased levels of the antiarrhythmic agent, with resultant toxicity that can lead to adverse cardiovascular effects. Patients taking propafenone should also undergo periodic liver function testing. Finally, attention should be paid to voluntary or official recalls of specific antiarrhythmic medications that are of unreliable quality or potency.
Anti-arrhythmia agents/administration & dosage/adverse effects; atrial fibrillation/diagnosis/drug therapy/etiology/prevention & control; cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6/genetics; dose-response relationship, drug; heart/drug effects; liver/enzymology/metabolism; propafenone/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use
The drug efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp) has been shown
multidrug resistance (MDR) in tumors as well as to influence ADME
properties of drug candidates. Here we synthesized and tested a series
of benzophenone derivatives structurally analogous to propafenone-type
inhibitors of P-gp. Some of the compounds showed ligand efficiency
and lipophilic efficiency (LipE) values in the range of compounds
which entered clinical trials as MDR modulators. Interestingly, although
lipophilicity plays a dominant role for P-gp inhibitors, all compounds
investigated showed LipE values below the threshold for promising
drug candidates. Docking studies of selected analogues into a homology
model of P-glycoprotein suggest that benzophenones show an interaction
pattern similar to that previously identified for propafenone-type
On the borders of Thailand, Plasmodium falciparum has become resistant to nearly all available drugs, and there is an urgent need to find new antimalarial drugs or drug combinations. Ferroquine (SSR97193) is a new 4-aminoquinoline antimalarial active against chloroquine resistant and sensitive P. falciparum strains in vivo and in vitro. This antimalarial organic iron complex (a ferrocenyl group has been associated with chloroquine) is meant to use the affinity of Plasmodium for iron to increase the probability for encountering the anti-malarial molecule.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the activity of ferroquine against P. falciparum isolates from an area with a known high multi-drug resistance rate.
Parasite isolates were obtained from patients with acute falciparum malaria attending the clinics of SMRU. In vitro cultures of these isolates were set-up in the SMRU-laboratory on pre-dosed drug plates, and grown in culture for 42 hours. Parasite growth was assessed by the double-site enzyme-linked pLDH immunodetection (DELI) assay.
Sixty-five P. falciparum isolates were successfully grown in culture. The ferroquine mean IC50 (95% CI) was 9.3 nM (95% C.I.: 8.7 – 10.0). The mean IC50 value for the principal metabolite of ferroquin, SR97213A, was 37.0 nM (95% C.I.: 34.3 – 39.9), which is four times less active than ferroquine. The isolates in this study were highly multi-drug resistant but ferroquine was more active than chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine and piperaquine. Only artesunate was more active than ferroquine. Weak but significant correlations were found between ferroquine and its principal metabolite (r2 = 0.4288), chloroquine (r2 = 0.1107) and lumefantrine (r2 = 0.2364).
The results presented in this study demonstrate that the new ferroquine compound SSR97193 has high anti-malarial activity in vitro against multi-drug resistant P. falciparum.
Among the known antimalarial drugs, chloroquine (CQ) and other 4-aminoquinolines have shown high potency and good bioavailability, yet complications associated with drug resistance necessitate the discovery of effective new antimalarial agents. ADMETa prediction studies were employed to evaluate a library of new molecules based on the 4-aminoquinolone-related structure of CQ. Extensive in vitro screening and in vivo pharmacokinetic studies in mice helped to identify two lead molecules, 18 and 4, with promising in vitro therapeutic efficacy, improved ADMET properties, low risk for drug-drug interactions, and desirable pharmacokinetic profiles. Both 18 and 4 are highly potent antimalarial compounds, with IC50 values = 5.6 nM and 17.3 nM, respectively, against the W2 (CQ-resistant) strain of Plasmodium falciparum (IC50 for CQ = 382 nM). When tested in mice, these compounds were found to have biological half-lives and plasma exposure values similar to or higher than those of CQ; they are therefore desirable candidates to pursue in future clinical trials.
ADMET studies; antimalarial; 4-aminoquinolines; pharmacokinetics; toxicology
Antimalarial drugs constitute a major part of antiprotozoal drugs and have been in practice for a long time. Antimalarial agents generally belong to the class of quinoline which acts by interfering with heme metabolism. The recent increase in development of chloroquine-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum and failure of vaccination program against malaria have fuelled the drug discovery program against this old and widespread disease. Quinoline and its related derivative comprise a class of heterocycles, which has been exploited immensely than any other nucleus for the development of potent antimalarial agents. Various chemical modifications of quinoline have been attempted to achieve analogs with potent antimalarial properties against sensitive as well as resistant strains of Plasmodium sp., together with minimal potential undesirable side effects. This review outlines essentially some of the recent chemical modifications undertaken for the development of potent antimalarial agents based on quinoline.
Antimalarial activity; chemical modifications; quinoline
Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) is caused by mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) or calsequestrin (Casq2) and can be difficult to treat. The class Ic antiarrhythmic drug flecainide blocks RyR2 channels and prevents CPVT in mice and humans. It is not known whether other class I antiarrhythmic drugs also block RyR2 channels and to what extent RyR2 channel inhibition contributes to antiarrhythmic efficacy in CPVT.
Methods and Results
We first measured the effect of all class I antiarrhythmic drugs marketed in the United States (quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide, lidocaine, mexiletine, flecainide, and propafenone) on single RyR2 channels incorporated into lipid bilayers. Only flecainide and propafenone inhibited RyR2 channels, with the S-enantiomer of propafenone having a significantly lower potency than R-propafenone or flecainide. In Casq2−/− myocytes, the propafenone enantiomers and flecainide significantly reduced arrhythmogenic Ca2+ waves at clinically relevant concentrations, whereas Na+ channel inhibitors without RyR2 blocking properties did not. In Casq2−/− mice, 5 mg/kg R-propafenone or 20 mg/kg S-propafenone prevented exercise-induced CPVT, whereas procainamide (20 mg/kg) or lidocaine (20 mg/kg) were ineffective (n=5 to 9 mice, P<0.05). QRS duration was not significantly different, indicating a similar degree of Na+ channel inhibition. Clinically, propafenone (900 mg/d) prevented ICD shocks in a 22-year-old CPVT patient who had been refractory to maximal standard drug therapy and bilateral stellate ganglionectomy.
RyR2 cardiac Ca2+ release channel inhibition appears to determine efficacy of class I drugs for the prevention of CPVT in Casq2−/− mice. Propafenone may be an alternative to flecainide for CPVT patients symptomatic on β-blockers.
class I antiarrhythmic drugs; propafenone; RyR2; catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia; flecainide; ranolazine; tetrodotoxin; quinidine; procainamide; disopyramide; lidocaine; mexiletine
We previously reported that substituted 4-aminoquinolines with a phenylether substituent at the 7-position of the quinoline ring and the capability of intramolecular hydrogen bonding between the protonated amine on the side chain and a hydrogen bond acceptor on the amine’s alkyl substituents exhibited potent antimalarial activity against the multi-drug resistant strain P. falciparum W2. We employed a parallel synthetic method to generate diaryl ether, biaryl, and alkylaryl 4-aminoquinoline analogs, in the background of a limited number of side chain variations that had previously afforded potent 4-aminoquinolines. All subsets were evaluated for their antimalarial activity against the chloroquine-sensitive strain 3D7 and the chloroquine-resistant K1 and cytotoxicity mammalian cell lines. While all three arrays showed good antimalarial activity, only the biaryl-containing subset showed consistently good potency against the drug-resistant K1strain good selectivity with regard to mammalian cytotoxicity. Overall, our data indicate that the biaryl-containing series contains promising candidates for further study.
The effects of the antiarrhythmic drug propafenone at c-type kv1.4 channels in Xenopus laevis oocytes were studied with the two-electrode voltage-clamp techinique. Defolliculated oocytes (stage V-VI) were injected with transcribed cRNAs of ferret Kv1.4ΔN channels. During recording, oocytes were continuously perfused with control solution or propafenone. Propafenone decreased the currents during voltage steps. The block was voltage-, use-, and concentration- dependent manners. The block was increased with positive going potentials. The voltage dependence of block could be fitted with the sum of monoexponential and a linear function. Propafenone accelerated the inactivate of current during the voltage step. The concentration of half-maximal block (IC50) was 121 µM/L. With high, normal, and low extracellular potassium concentrations, the changes of IC50 value had no significant statistical differences. The block of propafenone was PH- dependent in high-, normal- and low- extracellular potassium concentrations. Acidification of the extracellular solution to PH 6.0 increased the IC50 values to 463 µM/L, alkalization to PH 8.0 reduced it to 58 µM/L. The results suggest that propafenone blocks the Kv1.4ΔN channel in the open state and give some hints for an intracellular site of action.
Potassium Channels; Anti-arrhythmic drug; Ion Channels, Voltage-Gated; Voltage Clamp; Membrane Currents
Malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world, with the eukaryotic parasite Plasmodium falciparum causing the most severe form of the disease. Discovery of new classes of antimalarial drugs has become an urgent task to counteract the increasing problem of drug resistance. Screening directly for compounds able to inhibit parasite growth in vitro is one of the main approaches the malaria research community is now pursuing for the identification of novel antimalarial drug leads. Very recently, thousands of compounds with potent activity against the parasite P. falciparum have been identified and information about their molecular descriptors, antiplasmodial potency, and cytotoxicity is publicly available. Now the challenges are how to identify the most promising chemotypes for further development and how best to progress these compounds through a lead optimization program to generate antimalarial drug candidates. We report here the first chemical series to be characterized from one of those screenings, a completely novel chemical class with the generic name cyclopropyl carboxamides that has never before been described as having antimalarial or other pharmacological activities. Cyclopropyl carboxamides are potent inhibitors of drug-sensitive and -resistant strains of P. falciparum in vitro and show in vivo oral efficacy in malaria mouse models. In the present work, we describe the biological characterization of this chemical family, showing that inhibition of their still unknown target has very favorable pharmacological consequences but the compounds themselves seem to select for resistance at a high frequency.
Propafenone is an anti-arrhythmic drug used in the management of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias. It is metabolised through cytochrome P450 2D6 pathways; the major metabolites possess anti-arrhythmic activity. The cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 is coded by more than 70 alleles resulting in great genetic polymorphism of CYP2D6 isoenzymes, and up to 7% of Caucasian population are poor metabolisers. This case report describes a patient with severe overdose of propafenone who presented with coma, seizures and cardiotoxicity. The patient was managed with intravenous glucagon, hypertonic sodium bicarbonate, hypertonic saline and inotropic support. The propafenone and its 5-hydroxypropafenone (5-OHP) metabolite were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (no assay was available at the time to measure N-despropyl propafenone concentrations). Toxicological screen showed propafenone concentrations at a maximum of 1.26 mg/L at 9–10 h post-presentation, falling to 0.25 mg/L at 27–28 h post-presentation. No propafenone metabolite 5-OHP was detected in any sample analysed. No antidepressant or analgesic drugs were detected in toxicological screen. Propafenone overdose has been reported to be associated with features of severe cardiovascular and CNS toxicity. Aggressive treatment, meticulous monitoring and supportive care was associated with a good outcome in this case.
Propafenone; Poisoning; Cardiogenic shock; Convulsions
The ever evolving resistance of the most virulent malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to antimalarials necessitates the continuous development of new drugs. Our previous analysis of the antimalarial activities of the hemolytic antimicrobial peptides dermaseptins and their acylated derivatives implicated the importance of hydrophobicity and charge for drug action. Following these findings, an oligoacyllysine (OAK) tetramer designed to mimic the characteristics of dermaseptin was synthesized and assessed for its antimalarial activity in cultures of P. falciparum. The tetramer inhibited the growth of different plasmodial strains at low micromolar concentrations (mean 50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 1.8 μM). A structure-activity relationship study involving eight derivatives unraveled smaller, more potent OAK analogs (IC50s, 0.08 to 0.14 μM). The most potent analogs were the most selective, with selectivity ratios of 3 orders of magnitude. Selectivity was strongly influenced by the self-assembly properties resulting from interactions between hydrophobic OAKs, as has been observed with conventional antimicrobial peptides. Further investigations performed with a representative OAK revealed that the ring and trophozoite stages of the parasite developmental cycle were equally sensitive to the compound. A shortcoming of the tested compound was the need for long incubation times in order for it to exert its full effect. Nevertheless, the encouraging results obtained in this study regarding the efficiency and selectivity of some compounds establish them as leads for further development.
With the emergence of Plasmodium falciparum infections exhibiting increased parasite clearance times in response to treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies, the need for new therapeutic agents is urgent. Solithromycin, a potent new fluoroketolide currently in development, has been shown to be an effective, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. Malarial parasites possess an unusual organelle, termed the apicoplast, which carries a cryptic genome of prokaryotic origin that encodes its own translation and transcription machinery. Given the similarity of apicoplast and bacterial ribosomes, we have examined solithromycin for antimalarial activity. Other antibiotics known to target the apicoplast, such as the macrolide azithromycin, demonstrate a delayed-death effect, whereby treated asexual blood-stage parasites die in the second generation of drug exposure. Solithromycin demonstrated potent in vitro activity against the NF54 strain of P. falciparum, as well as against two multidrug-resistant strains, Dd2 and 7G8. The dramatic increase in potency observed after two generations of exposure suggests that it targets the apicoplast. Solithromycin also retained potency against azithromycin-resistant parasites derived from Dd2 and 7G8, although these lines did demonstrate a degree of cross-resistance. In an in vivo model of P. berghei infection in mice, solithromycin demonstrated a 100% cure rate when administered as a dosage regimen of four doses of 100 mg/kg of body weight, the same dose required for artesunate or chloroquine to achieve 100% cure rates in this rodent malaria model. These promising in vitro and in vivo data support further investigations into the development of solithromycin as an antimalarial agent.
The antimalarial activity and pharmacology of a series of phenylthiazolyl-bearing hydroxamate-based histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) was evaluated. In in vitro growth inhibition assays approximately 50 analogs were evaluated against four drug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. The range of 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) was 0.0005 to >1 μM. Five analogs exhibited IC50s of <3 nM, and three of these exhibited selectivity indices of >600. The most potent compound, WR301801 (YC-2-88) was shown to cause hyperacetylation of P. falciparum histones, which is a marker for HDAC inhibition in eukaryotic cells. The compound also inhibited malarial and mammalian HDAC activity in functional assays at low nanomolar concentrations. WR301801 did not exhibit cures in P. berghei-infected mice at oral doses as high as 640 mg/kg/day for 3 days or in P. falciparum-infected Aotus lemurinus lemurinus monkeys at oral doses of 32 mg/kg/day for 3 days, despite high relative bioavailability. The failure of monotherapy in mice may be due to a short half-life, since the compound was rapidly hydrolyzed to an inactive acid metabolite by loss of its hydroxamate group in vitro (half-life of 11 min in mouse microsomes) and in vivo (half-life in mice of 3.5 h after a single oral dose of 50 mg/kg). However, WR301801 exhibited cures in P. berghei-infected mice when combined at doses of 52 mg/kg/day orally with subcurative doses of chloroquine. Next-generation HDACIs with greater metabolic stability than WR301801 may be useful as antimalarials if combined appropriately with conventional antimalarial drugs.
Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum is a catastrophic disease worldwide (880,000 deaths yearly). Vaccine development has proved difficult and resistance has emerged for most antimalarials. In order to discover new antimalarial chemotypes, we have employed a phenotypic forward chemical genetic approach to assay 309,474 chemicals. Here we disclose structures and biological activity of the entire library, many of which exhibited potent in vitro activity against drug resistant strains, and detailed profiling of 172 representative candidates. A reverse chemical genetic study identified 19 new inhibitors of 4 validated drug targets and 15 novel binders among 61 malarial proteins. Phylochemogenetic profiling in multiple organisms revealed similarities between Toxoplasma gondii and mammalian cell lines and dissimilarities between P. falciparum and related protozoans. One exemplar compound displayed efficacy in a murine model. Overall, our findings provide the scientific community with new starting points for malaria drug discovery.
Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malarial parasite species, has developed resistance against nearly all man-made antimalarial drugs within the past century. However, quinine (QN), the first antimalarial drug, remains efficacious worldwide. Some chloroquine resistant (CQR) P. falciparum strains or isolates show mild cross resistance to QN, but many do not. Further optimization of QN may provide well-tolerated therapy with improved activity vs. CQR malaria. Thus, using the Heck reaction, we have pursued a structure-activity relationship study, including vinyl group modifications of QN. Certain derivatives show good antiplasmodial activity in QN-resistant and QN-sensitive strains, with lower IC50 values relative to QN.
The human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum is one of the world's most devastating pathogen. Its capability to regulate its
genes under various stages of its life cycle as well as under unfavourable environmental conditions has led to the development of
vaccine resistant strains. Similarly, under drug pressure it develops mutations in the target genes. These mutations confer mid and
high-level resistance to the antimalarial drugs. Increasing a resistance of malaria parasites to conventional antimalarial drugs is an
important factor contributing to the persistence of the disease as a major health threat. This article reviews current knowledge of
stage specific malarial targets, antimalarial drugs and the mutations that have led to the emergence of resistant strains.
Malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; Antimalarial drugs; Mutations; Stage specific protein targets
Brugada syndrome is one of the important causes of sudden cardiac death in young adults. The condition is associated with typical electrocardiogram (ECG) changes in anteroseptal leads V1 and V2 that can be unmasked by various medications, electrolyte disturbances, and even by the febrile state in susceptible individuals. The case history is reported of a patient with atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation who developed Brugada-like ECG changes when treated with propafenone. He was mistakenly diagnosed as having acute myocardial infarction when he presented to the emergency room with acute precordial chest pain. Cardiac catheterisation revealed normal coronary arteries and normal left ventricular systolic function. A review of previous ECGs showed the temporal relationship of ECG changes to initiation of propafenone a few years earlier. The ECG changes resolved with discontinuation of propafenone and re-emerged when he was rechallenged with oral propafenone. This case highlights the importance of recognising the characteristic ECG changes of Brugada syndrome and being able to differentiate them from those of acute myocardial infarction and other conditions manifesting with similar changes
Structural analogs of the antimalarial Endochin were synthesized and screened for antiplasmodial activity against drug sensitive and multidrug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Structural features have been identified that are associated with improved potency while other features are associated with equipotency against an atovaquone-resistant clinical isolate. Relative to endochin the most active compound ELQ-121 shows ≈ 100-fold improvement in IC50 for inhibition of P. falciparum in vitro and it also exhibits enhanced metabolic stability. A polyethylene glycol carbonate ester prodrug of ELQ-121 demonstrated in vivo efficacy against P. yoelii in mice. This is the first report of an endochin-like quinolone that is efficacious in treating malaria in a mammalian host.
Previous data showing that several chloroquine analogs containing an intramolecular hydrogen bonding motif were potent against multidrug-resistant P. falciparum, led to the exploration of the importance of this motif. A series of 116 compounds containing four different alkyl linkers and various aromatic substitutions with hydrogen bond accepting capability was synthesized. The series showed broad potency against the drug-resistant W2 strain of P. falciparum. In particular, a novel series containing variations of the α-aminocresol motif gave 8 compounds with IC50's more potent than 5 nM against the W2 strain. Such simple modifications, significantly altering the pKa and sterics of the basic side chain in chloroquine analogs, may prove to be part of a strategy for overcoming the problem of worldwide resistance to affordable antimalarial drugs.
Parallel synthesis; parallel purification; antimalarial; 4-aminoquinoline; drug-resistance
The increasing resistance of malarial parasites to almost all available drugs calls for the identification of new compounds and the detection of novel targets. Here, we establish the antimalarial activities of risedronate, one of the most potent bisphosphonates clinically used to treat bone resorption diseases, against blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] of 20.3 ± 1.0 μM). We also suggest a mechanism of action for risedronate against the intraerythrocytic stage of P. falciparum and show that protein prenylation seems to be modulated directly by this drug. Risedronate inhibits the transfer of the farnesyl pyrophosphate group to parasite proteins, an effect not observed for the transfer of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. Our in vivo experiments further demonstrate that risedronate leads to an 88.9% inhibition of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei in mice on the seventh day of treatment; however, risedronate treatment did not result in a general increase of survival rates.
A series of alkylated (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea polyamine analogues were synthesized and screened for antimalarial activity against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. All analogues showed growth inhibitory activity against P. falciparum at less than 3 μM, with the majority having effective IC50 values in the 100–650 nM range. Analogues arrested parasitic growth within 24 hours of exposure due to a block in nuclear division and therefore asexual development. Moreover, this effect appears to be cytotoxic and highly selective to malaria parasites (>7000-fold lower IC50 against P. falciparum) and is not reversible by the exogenous addition of polyamines. With this first report of potent antimalarial activity of polyamine analogues containing 3-7-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbones and substituted terminal urea- or thiourea moieties, we propose that these compounds represent a structurally novel class of antimalarial agents.
Malaria; Plasmodium; polyamine analogue; antimalarial drugs; (bis)urea; (bis)thiourea
Recent reports of increased tolerance to artemisinin derivatives—the last widely effective class of antimalarials — bolster the medical need for new treatments. The spirotetrahydro-β–carbolines, or spiroindolones, are a new class of fast-acting and potent schizonticidal drugs displaying low nanomolar potency against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax clinical isolates. Spiroindolones rapidly diminish protein synthesis in P. falciparum, an effect that is ablated in parasites bearing non-synonymous mutations in the gene encoding the P-type cation-transporter ATPase4 (PfATP4). The optimized spiroindolone NITD609 shows an acceptable safety profile and pharmacokinetic properties compatible with once-daily oral dosing; and demonstrates single-dose efficacy in a rodent malaria model. Collectively, these data demonstrate that NITD609 possesses a pharmacological profile suitable for a new drug candidate for the treatment of malaria.
Malaria is the third most significant cause of infectious disease in the world. The search for new antimalarial chemotherapy has become increasingly urgent due to parasite resistance to classical drugs. Trioxaquines are synthetic hybrid molecules containing a trioxane motif (which is responsible for the antimalarial activity of artemisinin) linked to an aminoquinoline entity (which is responsible for the antiplasmodial properties of chloroquine). These trioxaquines are highly potent against young erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum and exhibit efficient activity in vitro against chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant strains of P. falciparum (50% inhibitory concentration, 4 to 32 nM) and are also active in vivo against P. vinckei petteri and P. yoelii nigeriensis in suppressive and curative murine tests. The trioxaquine DU1302 is one of these promising antimalarial agents. The present study confirms the absence of toxicity of this drug on cell lines and in a mice model. Moreover, DU1302 exhibits potent activity against gametocytes, the form transmitted by mosquitoes, as killing of the gametocytes is essential to limit the spread of malaria. The ease of chemical synthesis of this trioxaquine prototype should be considered an additional advantage and would make these drugs affordable without perturbations of the drug supply.
Cajanus cajan L, a member of the family Fabaceae, was identified from the Nigerian antimalarial ethnobotany as possessing antimalarial properties. The bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude methanol extract of C. cajan leaves was done in vitro using the multiresistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (K1) in the parasite lactate dehydrogenase assay. Isolation of compound was achieved by a combination of chromatographic techniques, while the structure of the compound was elucidated by spectroscopy. This led to the identification of a cajachalcone, 2′,6′-dihydroxy-4-methoxy chalcone, as the biologically active constituent from the ethyl acetate fraction. Cajachalcone had an IC50 value of 2.0 μg/mL (7.4 μM) and could be a lead for anti-malarial drug discovery.