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New lead on malaria treatment
Date:5/18/2009

further study one of these compounds, fumarranol, because it interacts with human MetAP2 and is less toxic to mice.

The team first tested whether fumarranol can stick to and interfere with PfMetAP2 by treating mouse cells containing PfMetAP2 with different amounts of fumarranol and fumagillin and comparing them to untreated cells. In treated cells, fumarranol stuck to PfMetAP2 and stopped it from working.

They next asked whether fumarranol could stop malaria parasites from growing in a culture dish. They treated both drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum and found that fumarranol could stop the parasite from multiplying.

The team then gave mice infected with malaria fumarranol for four days after infection and measured the parasite load in the blood. They found that after four days, fumarranol worked as well as fumagillin to slow infection. After another 26 days they again measured parasites in the blood, found that some mice carried no observable level of parasites and considered these animals cured.

"The next step for establishing a new treatment for malaria would be to test whether fumarranol is the most optimal treatment or if new compounds that are similar to fumarranol might be even more specific to malaria parasites," Liu says.


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Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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