Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metabolic pathway found in malaria parasites; possible drug targets

Date:
August 5, 2010
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
A newly described metabolic pathway used by malaria-causing parasites may help them survive inside human blood cells. The finding clarifies the picture of parasite metabolism and provides clues to potential weak points in the pathway that might be attacked with drugs.

A newly described metabolic pathway used by malaria-causing parasites may help them survive inside human blood cells. The finding, by researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, clarifies the picture of parasite metabolism and provides clues to potential weak points in the pathway that might be attacked with drugs.

In most living things, several major chemical processes involved in converting food to energy are linked through a cyclic hub called the tricarboxylic acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle. NIAID grantee Manuel Llinαs, Ph.D., of Princeton University, and his colleagues discovered that Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest malaria parasite, uses a double-branched metabolic pathway instead of the classical loop. According to Dr. Llinαs, this specific branched pathway has not been detected previously in any other organism.

The malaria parasite appears to use one branch primarily to generate the molecule acetyl-CoA, which it needs to thrive within a host organism. This branch may represent particularly vulnerable spots to target with anti-malarial drugs, says Dr. Llinαs. The detailed description of the chemical steps involved in the metabolic pathway of the malaria parasite also could aid future malaria drug development efforts because the pathway sits at the heart of several other biological processes currently being investigated as drug targets.

So far, it is clear that the newly discovered pathway operates while the parasites are growing inside human blood cells. Next, the scientists will explore whether the parasite uses the same pathway during other stages of its lifecycle in humans and in mosquitoes, and how exactly it is involved in the metabolic control of the cell.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Olszewski et al. Branched tricarboxylic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum. Nature, 2010; 466 (7307): 774 DOI: 10.1038/nature09301

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Metabolic pathway found in malaria parasites; possible drug targets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804133356.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2010, August 5). Metabolic pathway found in malaria parasites; possible drug targets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804133356.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Metabolic pathway found in malaria parasites; possible drug targets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804133356.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins