Erythrocyte G protein as a novel target for malarial chemotherapy
Kasturi Haldar and col leagues from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, investigated a protein in red blood cells (erythrocyte guanine nucleotide regulatory protein Gs) as a novel antimalarial target.
They showed that a commonly used antihypertensive drug, propranolol, decreased Gs activity in red blood cells and inhibited blood-stage malarial parasite growth, as did other drugs of the same class. When used in combination with existing antimalarials in cell culture, propranolol reduced the dose of existing antimalarial drugs required to treat animal models of malarial infection.
Erythrocyte G may therefore be a novel antimalarial target; in addition, drugs antagonising erythrocyte Gs could be used in combination therapies with existing antimalarial drugs.