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Inhibitors of the Nonmevalonate Pathway of Isoprenoid Biosynthesis as Antimalarial Drugs

Science  03 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5433, pp. 1573-1576
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5433.1573

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Abstract

A mevalonate-independent pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis present in Plasmodium falciparum was shown to represent an effective target for chemotherapy of malaria. This pathway includes 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate (DOXP) as a key metabolite. The presence of two genes encoding the enzymes DOXP synthase and DOXP reductoisomerase suggests that isoprenoid biosynthesis in P. falciparum depends on the DOXP pathway. This pathway is probably located in the apicoplast. The recombinant P. falciparumDOXP reductoisomerase was inhibited by fosmidomycin and its derivative, FR-900098. Both drugs suppressed the in vitro growth of multidrug-resistant P. falciparum strains. After therapy with these drugs, mice infected with the rodent malaria parasiteP. vinckei were cured.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hassan.jomaa{at}biochemie.med.uni-giessen.de

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