High antiplasmodial activity of novel plasmepsins I and II inhibitors

Mario Dell'Agli, Silvia Parapini, Germana Galli, Nadia Vaiana, Donatella Taramelli, Anna Sparatore, Peng Liu, Ben M. Dunn, Enrica Bosisio, Sergio Romeo

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The aim of this study was to develop new antiplasmodial compounds acting through distinct mechanisms during both the liver and the blood stages of the parasite life cycle. Compounds were designed on the basis of the "double-drug" approach: primaquine, which has been linked to statine-based inhibitors of plasmepsins (PLMs), the plasmodial aspartic proteases involved in degradation of hemeoglobin. The compounds were tested in vitro for anti-PLM I/PLM II activities and against chloroquine-sensitive (D10) and chloroquine-resistant (W2) strains of P. falciparum. An antiplasmodial activity (IC50) as low as 0.1 μM was obtained, an excellent improvement in comparison with inhibitors previously reported (IC50 = 2-20 μM). The killing activity was equally directed against both P. falciparum strains and was correlated to lipophilicity (calculated as ALogP), for all compounds but one (9). All compounds inhibited PLM I and PLM II in the nanomolar range (Ki = 1-700 nM). The most promising compounds (2, 6, 10) were not cytotoxic against human fibroblasts at 100 μM and were highly selective for PLMs vs human cathepsin D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7440-7449
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medicinal chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 14 2006
Externally publishedYes

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    Dell'Agli, M., Parapini, S., Galli, G., Vaiana, N., Taramelli, D., Sparatore, A., Liu, P., Dunn, B. M., Bosisio, E., & Romeo, S. (2006). High antiplasmodial activity of novel plasmepsins I and II inhibitors. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 49(25), 7440-7449. https://doi.org/10.1021/jm061033d