Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31989022
Link to DOI – 10.1021/acscentsci.9b00874
ACS Cent Sci 2020 Jan; 6(1): 16-21
Malaria is the deadliest parasitic disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. The increasing number of treatment failures due to multi-drug-resistant parasites in South-East Asia hinders the efforts for elimination. It is thus urgent to develop new antimalarials to contain these resistant parasites. Based on a previous report showing the presence of DNA methylation in Plasmodium, we generated new types of DNA methylation inhibitors against malaria parasites. The quinoline-quinazoline-based inhibitors kill parasites, including artemisinin-resistant field isolates adapted to culture, in the low nanomolar range. The compounds target all stages of the asexual cycle, including early rings, during a 6 h treatment period; they reduce DNA methylation in the parasite and show in vivo activity at 10 mg/kg. These potent inhibitors are a new starting point to develop fast-acting antimalarials that could be used in combination with artemisinins.