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Current Status and Progresses Made in Malaria Chemotherapy

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Malaria is the most important parasitic disease worldwide, affecting more than 500 million people and causing close to 1 million deaths per annum. This serious fact is mainly attributable to the emergence of drug resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. The advances made in malaria chemotherapy based on unique aspects of the biochemistry and physiology of the responsible agents for this disease, parasites of Plasmodium genus, are covered in this review. Increasing resistance to conventional antimalarial drugs constitutes the main drawback for the persistence of this disease. In the present article, a comprehensive analysis of selected molecular targets is depicted in terms of their potential utility as chemotherapeutic agents. Our review focuses on different and important molecular targets for drug design that include proteases that hydrolyze hemoglobin, protein farnesyltransferase, heme detoxification pathway, polyamine pathways, dihydrofolate reductase, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), etc. Therefore, rational approaches to control malaria targeting metabolic pathways of malaria parasites which are essential for parasites survival are presented.

Keywords: Cysteine proteases; Plasmodium falciparum; chloroquine; farnesyltransferase inhibitors; piperazine derivatives

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departamento de Quimica Organica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellon 2, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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