Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound halts growth of malaria parasite

Date:
April 2, 2012
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents the parasite that causes malaria from growing, new research shows.

A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents growth of the parasite that causes malaria, new research by a Yale University team headed by Nobel laureate Sidney Altman shows.

The compound created in the labs of Altman and co-senior author Choukri Ben Mamoun at the Yale School of Medicine penetrates red blood cells and targets molecular machinery that enables the parasite to grow within the cells, according to findings published the week of April 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Malaria sickens more than 200 million people and kills more than a million people annually. The disease is caused by fives species of parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

"While we primarily looked at one species of parasite, it is clear the compound also knocks out drug-resistant strains of malaria as well," Altman said. "This compound can wipe out strains that are currently resistant to drugs such as chloroquine and pyrimethamine."

The work is an outgrowth of the discovery by Yale immunobiology professor Alfred L. M. Bothwell of a basic peptide that the Yale team showed can penetrate cell walls and membranes. Altman and colleagues also added a piece of RNA to this peptide which then attaches to messenger RNA produced by parasites within the blood cells. The presence of this complex activates a molecular response that disables the parasite.

Altman's lab has already shown this compound can kill dangerous strains of bacteria and is currently investigating its efficacy in combating infections in skin wounds. The current paper illustrates the compound's effectiveness in red blood cell tissue culture. Altman stressed that more tests must be conducted to make sure the compound works in animals and people as well.

"It will be some time before this is commercially available," Altman said.

Altman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1989 along with Thomas R. Cech for their discoveries of the catalytic properties of RNA.

Other Yale authors of the study are Yoann Augagneur, Donna Wesolowski and Hyun Seop Tae.

The National Institutes of Health and Burroughs Wellcome Fund were the primary funding sources for the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Bill Hathaway. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yoann Augagneur, Donna Wesolowski, Hyun Seop Tae, Sidney Altman, and Choukri Ben Mamoun. Gene selective mRNA cleavage inhibits the development of Plasmodium falciparum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203516109

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Compound halts growth of malaria parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162553.htm>.
Yale University. (2012, April 2). Compound halts growth of malaria parasite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162553.htm
Yale University. "Compound halts growth of malaria parasite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162553.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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