Targeting Plasmodium PI(4)K to eliminate malaria

Case W. McNamara, Marcus C.S. Lee, Chek Shik Lim, Siau Hoi Lim, Jason Roland, Advait Nagle, Oliver Simon, Bryan K.S. Yeung, Arnab K. Chatterjee, Susan L. McCormack, Micah J. Manary, Anne-Marie Zeeman, Koen J. Dechering, T. R.Santha Kumar, Philipp P. Henrich, Kerstin Gagaring, Maureen Ibanez, Nobutaka Kato, Kelli L. Kuhen, Christoph FischliMatthias Rottmann, David M. Plouffe, Badry Bursulaya, Stephan Meister, Lucia Rameh, Joerg Trappe, Dorothea Haasen, Martijn Timmerman, Robert W. Sauerwein, Rossarin Suwanarusk, Bruce Russell, Laurent Renia, Francois Nosten, David C. Tully, Clemens H.M. Kocken, Richard J. Glynne, Christophe Bodenreider, David A. Fidock, Thierry T. Diagana (Lead / Corresponding author), Elizabeth A. Winzeler (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

342 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving the goal of malaria elimination will depend on targeting Plasmodium pathways essential across all life stages. Here we identify a lipid kinase, phosphatidylinositol-4-OH kinase (PI(4)K), as the target of imidazopyrazines, a new antimalarial compound class that inhibits the intracellular development of multiple Plasmodium species at each stage of infection in the vertebrate host. Imidazopyrazines demonstrate potent preventive, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking activity in rodent malaria models, are active against blood-stage field isolates of the major human pathogens P. falciparum and P. vivax, and inhibit liver-stage hypnozoites in the simian parasite P. cynomolgi. We show that imidazopyrazines exert their effect through inhibitory interaction with the ATP-binding pocket of PI(4)K, altering the intracellular distribution of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate. Collectively, our data define PI(4)K as a key Plasmodium vulnerability, opening up new avenues of target-based discovery to identify drugs with an ideal activity profile for the prevention, treatment and elimination of malaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
Issue number7479
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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