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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007 Aug;51(8):2842-7. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

2-tert-butyl-8-quinolinamines exhibit potent blood schizontocidal antimalarial activity via inhibition of heme crystallization.

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Department of Applied Biology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Matsugasaki, Kyoto, Japan.


We have recently reported that the attachment of a bulky metabolically stable tert-butyl group at the C-2 position of a quinoline ring in primaquine results in a tremendous improvement in the blood schizontocidal antimalarial activity of 8-quinolinamine. Because free heme released from hemoglobin catabolism in a malarial parasite is highly toxic, the parasite protects itself mainly by crystallization of heme into insoluble nontoxic hemozoin. We now demonstrate the ability of 2-tert-butylprimaquine to inhibit in vitro beta-hematin formation, to form a complex with heme with a stoichiometry of 1:1, and to enhance heme-induced hemolysis. The results described herein indicate that a major improvement in the blood-schizontocidal antimalarial activity of 2-tert-butylprimaquine might be due to a disturbance of heme catabolism pathway in the malarial parasite.

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