Polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter protein links verapamil enhancement of chloroquine sensitivity with the clinical efficacy of amodiaquine


Warhurst, DC; (2003) Polymorphism in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-resistance transporter protein links verapamil enhancement of chloroquine sensitivity with the clinical efficacy of amodiaquine. Malar J, 2 (1). p. 31. ISSN 1475-2875 DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-2-31

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chloroquine accumulates in the acidic digestive vacuole of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite, and prevents the detoxication of haematin released during haemoglobin digestion. Changes in protein PfCRT in the digestive vacuole membrane of growing intra-erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum are crucial for resistance. Expressed in yeast, PfCRT resembles an anion channel. Depressed anion channel function could increase intralysosomal pH to reduce entry of basic drug, or enhanced function could reduce drug interaction with target haematin. The most important resistance-associated change is from positively-charged lysine-76 to neutral threonine which could facilitate drug efflux through a putative channel. It has been proposed that the resistance-reversing effect of verapamil is due to hydrophobic binding to the mutated PfCRT protein, and replacement of the lost positive charge, which repels the access of 4-aminoquinoline cations, thus partially restoring sensitivity. Desethylamodiaquine, the active metabolite of amodiaquine, which has significant activity in chloroquine-resistance, may also act similarly on its own. METHODS: Changes in physicochemical parameters in different CQ-resistant PfCRT sequences are analysed, and correlations with drug activity on lines transfected with different alleles of the pfcrt gene are examined. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The results support the idea that PfCRT is a channel which, in resistant parasites, can allow efflux of chloroquine from the digestive vacuole. Activity of the chloroquine/verapamil combination and of desethylamodiaquine both correlate with the mean hydrophobicity of PfCRT residues 72-76. This may partly explain clinical-resistance to amodiaquine found in the first chloroquine-resistant malaria cases from South America and enables tentative prediction of amodiaquine's clinical activity against novel haplotypes of PfCRT.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Research Centre: Antimicrobial Resistance Centre (AMR)
PubMed ID: 14599295
Web of Science ID: 186358700002
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/15796

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