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.

Related Articles


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 Llinás, 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. Llinás, 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. Llinás. 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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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