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Molecular Targets for Malarial Chemotherapy: A Review

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The malaria parasite resistance to the existing drugs is a serious problem to the currently used antimalarials and, thus, highlights the urgent need to develop new and effective anti-malarial molecules. This could be achieved either by the identification of the new drugs for the validated targets or by further refining/improving the existing antimalarials; or by combining previously effective agents with new/existing drugs to have a synergistic effect that counters parasite resistance; or by identifying novel targets for the malarial chemotherapy. In this review article, a comprehensive collection of some of the novel molecular targets has been enlisted for the antimalarial drugs. The targets which could be deliberated for developing new anti-malarial drugs could be: membrane biosynthesis, mitochondrial system, apicoplasts, parasite transporters, shikimate pathway, hematin crystals, parasite proteases, glycolysis, isoprenoid synthesis, cell cycle control/cycline dependent kinase, redox system, nucleic acid metabolism, methionine cycle and the polyamines, folate metabolism, the helicases, erythrocyte G-protein, and farnesyl transferases. Modern genomic tools approaches such as structural biology and combinatorial chemistry, novel targets could be identified followed by drug development for drug resistant strains providing wide ranges of novel targets in the development of new therapy. The new approaches and targets mentioned in the manuscript provide a basis for the development of new unique strategies for antimalarial therapy with limited off-target effects in the near future.
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Keywords: Anti-malaria; Cyclin-ependent; Drug targets; Helicases; Kinases; Parasite proteases; Plasmodium falciparum drug development

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

This article was made available online on June 13, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Molecular Targets for Malarial Chemotherapy: A Review".

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