Development and application of a high-throughput screening assay for identification of small molecule inhibitors of the P. falciparum reticulocyte binding-like homologue 5 protein
Journal Title
International Journal for Parasitology Drugs and Drug Resistance
Publication Type
Journal Article
The P. falciparum parasite, responsible for the disease in humans known as malaria, must invade erythrocytes to provide an environment for self-replication and survival. For invasion to occur, the parasite must engage several ligands on the host erythrocyte surface to enable adhesion, tight junction formation and entry. Critical interactions include binding of erythrocyte binding-like ligands and reticulocyte binding-like homologues (Rhs) to the surface of the host erythrocyte. The reticulocyte binding-like homologue 5 (Rh5) is the only member of this family that is essential for invasion and it binds to the basigin host receptor. The essential nature of Rh5 makes it an important vaccine target, however to date, Rh5 has not been targeted by small molecule intervention. Here, we describe the development of a high-throughput screening assay to identify small molecules which interfere with the Rh5-basigin interaction. To validate the utility of this assay we screened a known drug library and the Medicines for Malaria Box and demonstrated the reproducibility and robustness of the assay for high-throughput screening purposes. The screen of the known drug library identified the known leukotriene antagonist, pranlukast. We used pranlukast as a model inhibitor in a post screening evaluation cascade. We procured and synthesised analogues of pranlukast to assist in the hit confirmation process and show which structural moieties of pranlukast attenuate the Rh5 - basigin interaction. Evaluation of pranlukast analogues against P. falciparum in a viability assay and a schizont rupture assay show the parasite activity was not consistent with the biochemical inhibition of Rh5, questioning the developability of pranlukast as an antimalarial. The high-throughput assay developed from this work has the capacity to screen large collections of small molecules to discover inhibitors of P. falciparum Rh5 for future development of invasion inhibitory antimalarials.
Drug screening; Erythrocyte invasion; Plasmodium falciparum; Reticulocyte binding-like homologue 5
WEHI Research Division(s)
Chemical Biology; Advanced Technology And Biology; Infectious Diseases And Immune Defence
PubMed ID
Open Access at Publisher's Site
Rights Notice
Refer to copyright notice on published article.

Creation Date: 2021-02-01 12:05:26
Last Modified: 2021-03-26 01:57:28
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