Antiplasmodial activity and mechanism of action of RSM-932A, a promising synergistic inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum choline kinase

Tahl Zimmerman, Carlos Moneriz, Amalia Diez, José Manuel Bautista, Teresa Gómez Del Pulgar, Arancha Cebrián, Juan Carlos Lacal
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2013, 57 (12): 5878-88
We have investigated the mechanism of action of inhibition of the choline kinase of P. falciparum (p.f.-ChoK) by two inhibitors of the human ChoKα, MN58b and RSM-932A, which have previously been shown to be potent antitumoral agents. The efficacy of these inhibitors against p.f.-ChoK is investigated using enzymatic and in vitro assays. While MN58b may enter the choline/phosphocholine binding site, RSM-932A appears to have an altogether novel mechanism of inhibition and is synergistic with respect to both choline and ATP. A model of inhibition for RSM-932A in which this inhibitor traps p.f.-ChoK in a phosphorylated intermediate state blocking phosphate transfer to choline is presented. Importantly, MN58b and RSM-932A have in vitro inhibitory activity in the low nanomolar range and are equally effective against chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains. RSM-932A and MN58b significantly reduced parasitemia and induced the accumulation of trophozoites and schizonts, blocking intraerythrocytic development and interfering with parasite egress or invasion, suggesting a delay of the parasite maturation stage. The present data provide two new potent structures for the development of antimalarial compounds and validate p.f.-ChoK as an accessible drug target against the parasite.

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