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Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 Apr 1;16(7):3759-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2008.01.053. Epub 2008 Feb 2.

Selective plasma protein binding of antimalarial drugs to alpha1-acid glycoprotein.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Chemical Research Center, Budapest, PO Box 17, H-1525, Hungary.


Human plasma protein binding of six antimalarial agents of quinoline and acridine types was investigated by using spectroscopic techniques, affinity chromatography, ultrafiltration and HPLC methods. Induced circular dichroism (ICD) spectra showed binding of amodiaquine (AMQ), primaquine (PRQ), tafenoquine (TFQ), and quinacrine (QR) to alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein (AAG), the serum level of which greatly increases in Plasmodium infections. Association constant (K(a)) values of about 10(5)-10(6) M(-1) could be determined. Analysis of the ICD and UV spectra of the drug-AAG complexes suggested the inclusion of the ligands into the central hydrophobic cavity of the protein. Using the purified forms of the two main genetic variants of AAG, ICD data indicated the selective binding of AMQ and PRQ to the 'F1/S', while QR to the 'A' variant. Results of fluorescence experiments supported the AAG binding of these drugs and provided further insights into the binding details of TFQ and QR. Fluorescence and CD displacement experiments showed the high-affinity AAG binding of mefloquine (K(a) approximately 10(6) M(-1)). For this drug, inverse binding stereoselectivities were found with the 'F1/S' and 'A' genetic variants of AAG. HSA association constants estimated from affinity chromatography results lag behind (10(3)-10(5) M(-1)) the similar values derived for AAG. In case of chloroquine, no significant binding interaction was found either with AAG or HSA. Pharmacological aspects of the results are discussed.

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