Research Article

Chemical Genomic Profiling for Antimalarial Therapies, Response Signatures, and Molecular Targets

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Science  05 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6043, pp. 724-729
DOI: 10.1126/science.1205216

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Abstract

Malaria remains a devastating disease largely because of widespread drug resistance. New drugs and a better understanding of the mechanisms of drug action and resistance are essential for fulfilling the promise of eradicating malaria. Using high-throughput chemical screening and genome-wide association analysis, we identified 32 highly active compounds and genetic loci associated with differential chemical phenotypes (DCPs), defined as greater than or equal to fivefold differences in half-maximum inhibitor concentration (IC50) between parasite lines. Chromosomal loci associated with 49 DCPs were confirmed by linkage analysis and tests of genetically modified parasites, including three genes that were linked to 96% of the DCPs. Drugs whose responses mapped to wild-type or mutant pfcrt alleles were tested in combination in vitro and in vivo, which yielded promising new leads for antimalarial treatments.

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