Interference with heme binding to histidine-rich protein-2 as an antimalarial strategy

Clara Y.H. Choi, Eric L. Schneider, Jin M. Kim, Ilya Y. Gluzman, Daniel E. Goldberg, Jonathan A. Ellman, Michael A. Marletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The erythrocytic growth stage of Plasmodium falciparum involves hemoglobin proteolysis as the primary nutrient source with the concomitant release of free heme. The liberated heme is processed by the parasite into hemozoin, a polymeric porphyrin dimer. Histidine-rich protein binds heme and mediates the formation of hemozoin, which is inhibited by the antimalarial drug chloroquine. Interference with heme binding was determined using a microtiterplate assay. Combinatorial libraries were screened and tested against parasite growth, revealing a good correlation between heme binding interference and the inhibition of parasite growth. Several of these compounds retain their potency against a chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum. The most potent compounds have IC50 values less than or equal to 50 nM against chloroquine-resistant and chloroquine-sensitive parasites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-889
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2002


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