Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 37216290
Lien DOI – 10.1021/acsinfecdis.3c00127
ACS Infect Dis 2023 May; ():
Malaria drug resistance is hampering the fight against the deadliest parasitic disease affecting over 200 million people worldwide. We recently developed quinoline-quinazoline-based inhibitors (as compound 70) as promising new antimalarials. Here, we aimed to investigate their mode of action by using thermal proteome profiling (TPP). The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 (EIF3i) subunit I was identified as the main target protein stabilized by compound 70 in Plasmodium falciparum. This protein has never been characterized in malaria parasites. P. falciparum parasite lines were generated expressing either a HA tag or an inducible knockdown of the PfEIF3i gene to further characterize the target protein. PfEIF3i was stabilized in the presence of compound 70 in a cellular thermal shift Western blot assay, pointing that PfEIF3i indeed interacts with quinoline-quinazoline-based inhibitors. In addition, PfEIF3i-inducible knockdown blocks intra-erythrocytic development in the trophozoite stage, indicating that it has a vital function. We show that PfEIF3i is mostly expressed in late intra-erythrocytic stages and localizes in the cytoplasm. Previous mass spectrometry reports show that PfEIF3i is expressed in all parasite life cycle stages. Further studies will explore the potential of PfEIF3i as a target for the design of new antimalarial drugs active all along the life cycle of the parasite.