Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New class of highly potent antimalarial compounds discovered

Date:
July 9, 2013
Source:
Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM)
Summary:
Despite renewed global efforts for eradication, malaria continues to exert devastating effects on human health. An estimated 220 million people are infected each year by malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, which are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. This enormous infection burden leads to some 660,000 lives lost to malaria each year, the majority of these young children in sub-Saharan Africa. While a vaccine to prevent malaria remains elusive, we depend on antimalarial compounds both to treat infections and prevent disease.

Despite renewed global efforts for eradication, malaria continues to exert devastating effects on human health. An estimated 220 million people are infected each year by malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites, which are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. This enormous infection burden leads to some 660,000 lives lost to malaria each year, the majority of these young children in sub-Saharan Africa. While a vaccine to prevent malaria remains elusive, we depend on antimalarial compounds both to treat infections and prevent disease.

Related Articles


Plasmodium parasites progress through two different stages of life in humans and other mammals, the first of which occurs in the liver, and causes no symptoms of disease. The second stage of Plasmodium life occurs in the red blood cells, and it is here that the parasites can cause severe illness and death. Most current antimalarial compounds target only the malaria parasites growing in the blood, but a great need exists for compounds which could successfully eliminate the parasites in the liver as well, before they begin causing illness.

In work published online today in the journal PNAS, researchers at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), in Lisbon, Portugal, have discovered a new class of highly potent antimalarial compounds. These compounds, referred to as Torins, were originally developed by researchers in the Boston, MA to inhibit a key human protein involved in cell growth, mTOR, and have been shown to be effective anticancer agents in rodent models. In research perdormed by Dr. Kirsten Hanson in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Mota, the IMM team and their collaborators have discovered that Torins are extremely effective multistage antimalarials; Torins appear to have a novel activity against the Plasmodium parasites themselves, distinct from both currently used malaria therapeutics and from their ability to target human mTOR.

Torins are capable of killing the cultured blood stages of the human parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, the species which causes most malaria deaths and severe disease, and are equally potent against the liver stages of a model rodent parasite. A single dose of the compound Torin2 delivered at the beginning of the P. berghei liver stage is sufficient to eliminate infection in mice before any Plasmodium parasites reach the blood. "Given the alarming trend of resistance to our current antimalarial therapies, this is really an exciting finding," says Dr. Mota, the senior author of the study, "and we are already working to develop Torin molecules suitable for clinical trials of antimalarial activity in humans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. K. Hanson, A. S. Ressurreicao, K. Buchholz, M. Prudencio, J. D. Herman-Ornelas, M. Rebelo, W. L. Beatty, D. F. Wirth, T. Hanscheid, R. Moreira, M. Marti, M. M. Mota. Torins are potent antimalarials that block replenishment of Plasmodium liver stage parasitophorous vacuole membrane proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306097110

Cite This Page:

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM). "New class of highly potent antimalarial compounds discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709143351.htm>.
Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM). (2013, July 9). New class of highly potent antimalarial compounds discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709143351.htm
Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM). "New class of highly potent antimalarial compounds discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130709143351.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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