Interactions between artemisinins and other antimalarial drugs in relation to the cofactor model--a unifying proposal for drug action

ChemMedChem
Richard K HaynesDiego Monti

Abstract

Artemisinins are proposed to act in the malaria parasite cytosol by oxidizing dihydroflavin cofactors of redox-active flavoenzymes, and under aerobic conditions by inducing their autoxidation. Perturbation of redox homeostasis coupled with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) ensues. Ascorbic acid-methylene blue (MB), N-benzyl-1,4-dihydronicotinamide (BNAH)-MB, BNAH-lumiflavine, BNAH-riboflavin (RF), and NADPH-FAD-E. coli flavin reductase (Fre) systems at pH 7.4 generate leucomethylene blue (LMB) and reduced flavins that are rapidly oxidized in situ by artemisinins. These oxidations are inhibited by the 4-aminoquinolines piperaquine (PPQ), chloroquine (CQ), and others. In contrast, the arylmethanols lumefantrine, mefloquine (MFQ), and quinine (QN) have little or no effect. Inhibition correlates with the antagonism exerted by 4-aminoquinolines on the antimalarial activities of MB, RF, and artemisinins. Lack of inhibition correlates with the additivity/synergism between the arylmethanols and artemisinins. We propose association via π complex formation between the 4-aminoquinolines and LMB or the dihydroflavins; this hinders hydride transfer from the reduced conjugates to the artemisinins. The arylmethanols have a decre...Continue Reading

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