Washington: Scientists have revealed that they are making progress towards new antimalarial drugs, after revealing how an antibiotic called emetine blocks the molecular machinery that produces the proteins required for malaria parasite survival.
Although emetine is effective against malaria it is not used as a preventive drug due to its significant side effects, but Dr Wilson Wong and his colleagues have shown how emetine attaches to and blocks the molecular machinery that makes the proteins required for malaria parasite survival has revealed new approaches for antimalarial drug development.
Dr Wong said that the study examined the parasite cell's protein-making machinery, called the ribosome, visualising for the first time the structure of this 'protein complex' in the malaria parasite.
The ribosome is responsible for constructing all proteins inside the cell, based on the DNA 'blueprint'. Antibiotics such as emetine kill the malaria parasite by binding to its ribosome and preventing the parasite from building the proteins it needs to produce energy, grow, reproduce and evade the immune system.
The study was published in the journal eLife.