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1.  Synthesis and evaluation of 7-substituted 4-aminoquinoline analogs for antimalarial activity 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(20):7084-7093.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm200636z
PMCID: PMC3697074  PMID: 21910466
2.  Optimization of Propafenone Analogues as Anti-Malarial Leads 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(21):7477-7485.
Propafenone, a class Ic antiarrythmic drug, inhibits growth of cultured Plasmodium falciparum. While the drug’s potency is significant, further development of propafenone as an antimalarial would require divorcing the antimalarial and cardiac activities as well as improving the pharmacokinetic profile of the drug. A small array of propafenone analogs was designed and synthesized to address the cardiac ion channel and PK liabilities. Testing of this array revealed potent inhibitors of the 3D7 (drug sensitive) and K1 (drug resistant) strains of P. falciparum that possessed significantly reduced ion channel effects and improved metabolic stability. Propafenone analogues are unusual among antimalarial leads in that they are more potent against the multi-drug resistant K1 strain of P. falciparum compared to the 3D7 strain.
doi:10.1021/jm2005546
PMCID: PMC3208124  PMID: 21955244
propafenone; malaria; microwave epoxide ring opening; hERG
3.  Chemical genetics of Plasmodium falciparum 
Nature  2010;465(7296):311-315.
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.
doi:10.1038/nature09099
PMCID: PMC2874979  PMID: 20485428
4.  Improved methods for magnetic purification of malaria parasites and haemozoin 
Malaria Journal  2010;9:17.
Background
Malaria parasites generate free haem upon catabolism of host haemoglobin during their intraerythrocytic growth cycle. In order to minimize oxidative toxicity of the ferric iron, the free haem molecules are polymerized into the biomineral beta-haematin (commonly referred to as haemozoin). Haemozoin crystals are paramagnetic, and this property can be exploited for the purification of late stage parasites as they contain larger haemozoin crystals than early stage parasites and uninfected cells. Commercially available magnets that were originally developed for the purpose of antibody-mediated cell purification are widely used for this purpose. As these methods are not necessarily optimized for parasite purification, the relationship between magnetic field strength and the quantity and quality of yield during parasite purification was explored.
Methods
Inexpensive rare-earth neodymium magnets with commercially available disposable columns were employed to explore the relationship between magnetic field strength and recovery of free haemozoin and infected erythrocytes (iRBCs).
Results
Yields of free haemozoin increased nearly linearly with increasing magnetic field strength to the strongest fields tested (8,500 Gauss). Stronger magnetic fields also improved the recovery of iRBCs with no detrimental effects on parasite viability. An in-house constructed magnetic stand, built for $75 in materials, produced superior results when compared with much more expensive commercial products.
Conclusions
Existing protocols for the magnetic purification of free haemozoin and iRBCs result in sub-optimal yields. Inexpensive high-strength neodymium magnets offer a better option, resulting in higher yields with no detrimental effects on parasite viability.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-9-17
PMCID: PMC2817699  PMID: 20074366
5.  Splenic Red Pulp Macrophages Produce Type I Interferons as Early Sentinels of Malaria Infection but Are Dispensable for Control 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48126.
Type I interferons (T1IFNs) are among the earliest cytokines produced during infections due to their direct regulation by innate immune signaling pathways. Reports have suggested that T1IFNs are produced during malaria infection, but little is known about the in vivo cellular origins of T1IFNs or their role in protection. We have found that in addition to plasmacytoid dendritic cells, splenic red pulp macrophages (RPMs) can generate significant quantities of T1IFNs in response to P. chabaudi infection in a TLR9-, MYD88-, and IRF7-dependent manner. Furthermore, T1IFNs regulate expression of interferon-stimulated genes redundantly with Interferon-gamma (IFNG), resulting in redundancy for resistance to experimental malaria infection. Despite their role in sensing and promoting immune responses to infection, we observe that RPMs are dispensable for control of parasitemia. Our results reveal that RPMs are early sentinels of malaria infection, but that effector mechanisms previously attributed to RPMs are not essential for control.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048126
PMCID: PMC3483282  PMID: 23144737

Results 1-5 (5)