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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2013 Feb;17(2):167-77. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2013.739158. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Targeting apicoplasts in malaria parasites.

Author information

1
University of Melbourne, School of Botany, Professor's Walk, Parkville, Vic, 3010, Australia. deang@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The relict plastid, or apicoplast, is a characteristic feature of Plasmodium spp. and reflects the unusual evolutionary origins of these parasites. The essential role this organelle plays in the life of the parasite, and its unusual, non-mammalian metabolism, make the apicoplast an excellent drug target.

AREAS COVERED:

This review focuses on the biological role of the apicoplast in the erythrocytic life cycle and what that reveals about existing drug targets. We also discuss the future of the apicoplast in the development of anti-malarials, emphasizing those pathways with greatest potential as a source of novel drug targets and emphasizing the need to understand in vitro drug responses to optimize eventual use of these drugs to treat malaria.

EXPERT OPINION:

More than a decade of research on the apicoplast has confirmed the promise of this organelle as a source of drug targets. It is now possible to rationally assess the value of existing drugs and new drug targets, and to understand the role these drugs can play in the arsenal of anti-malarial treatments.

PMID:
23231425
DOI:
10.1517/14728222.2013.739158
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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