Malaria parasite protein identified as potential new target for drug treatmentPosted: April 24, 2013
The study was led by Dr Henry Staines at St George’s, University of London and Dr Rita Tewari of the Centre of Genetics and Genomics at the University of Nottingham. It has been published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
All living organisms require calcium to survive, as it is needed for vital cellular processes. Calcium concentration within cells is regulated by specific transporter proteins. The most effective class of anti-malarial drugs — artemisinins — are understood to inhibit one of the parasite’s two known calcium transporters, so these transporters are already thought of as viable targets for drug treatments. The other calcium transporter is a type called CAX, so the researchers set out to investigate its role in the parasite’s development.