Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have found out why malaria parasites are vulnerable to some medications but resistant to other treatments, and scientists have told scientists about the disease. Offering another piece of puzzle in a global battle.
The ANU team has two characteristics malaria Proteins known as PfMDR1 and PfCRT work together to carry the drug away from the killing area and eventually focus it on a “safe zone” that nullifies treatment.
The findings could lead to new long-term treatments for malaria, which killed an estimated 627,000 people worldwide in 2020.
According to Dr. Sara Shafik of the ANU School of Biology, certain anti-malaria treatments are effective in eradicating the disease only if the drug is in the stomach of the parasite. Other treatments are most effective when they are outside the stomach.
“We knew it Parasite It may be resistant to some drugs and at the same time sensitive to others, but we didn’t know how this happened, “said Dr. Shafic, co-author of the study. I am saying.
“Our study shows that PfMDR1 and PfCRT work together to help alter the distribution of drugs within parasites and avoid one killing effect. drag.. But this in turn means that the parasite is more susceptible to other medicines. ”
With this discovery, scientists can develop new therapies or reuse existing drugs to create new combination therapies that directly target the PfMDR1 and PfCRT proteins and prevent parasites from betraying the drug. I can do it.
Although the disease can be successfully treated with drugs, malaria parasites continue to adapt, increase resistance to current treatments, avoid death and stay one step ahead of scientists.
“This means that malaria treatments that can treat patients today are not always effective in the next few years,” said Dr. Shafik.
“Chloroquine, the former gold standard drug that has been used to treat malaria for 20 years, has failed. New treatments that last only a few years before parasites begin to develop resistance to these drugs emerge. doing.
“This is because parasites are very good at mutating certain proteins and avoiding the killing effects of drugs.”
In addition to their role in Drug resistance, Researchers say that two proteins are essential for parasite growth.By inactivating the protein with a new recycled one Drug therapyScientists have a chance to eradicate malaria.
“We are beginning to gain a good understanding of how we can design. Effective treatment For example, by using an antimalarial drug already in our arsenal in combination with other types of drugs used to treat HIV, it will not become obsolete over time. ” Said Dr. Shafik.
“Our intention is not only to target the ability of PfMDR1 and PfCRT to control the movement of drugs within the parasite, but also to inhibit the essential natural function of proteins that support parasite growth.”
According to Dr. Shafik, the researchers’ findings may also help inform the development of new types of cancer treatments.
“By characterizing the human version of PfMDR1 and understanding the chemotherapeutic agents that can shed it from cancer cells and how proteins prevent it from doing this, we can pave the way for the development of more successful cancer treatments. I can do it.”
The study is published at PLOS Biology..
Mechanical basis for multidrug resistance and secondary drug susceptibility conferred on malaria parasites by Sarah Heckmatt Shafik et al, PfMDR1 and PfCRT polymorphisms, PLOS Biology (2022). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pbio.3001616
Australian National University
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Scientists close to outsmarting malaria parasites
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