Development of Novel Antimalarial Drugs that Target Proteostasis

Project Description

Because current antimalarial control is highly dependent on artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), it is extremely concerning that decreased sensitivity has emerged to all currently used ACTs. We are working to understand the molecular basis of artemisinin resistance with a view to developing new antimalarial drugs.

The peak body, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), has declared that novel targets for antimalarial therapies need to be identified and new drugs developed. As an organism that undergoes rapid growth and cell division in an environment of high oxidative stress, the malaria parasite is very reliant on cellular remodelling. We are working to target the two major proteostasis pathways: the proteasome system and the autophagy pathway. We have identified compounds that target the proteasome and work synergistically with artemisinins to kill artemisinin-resistant parasites.

Other team members: Stanley Xie