Enzymes of pyrimidine salvage pathways in intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum

Academic Article


  • Malaria remains a significant public health problem worldwide with an estimated annual global incidence of 200 million and an estimated 450,000 annual deaths. Among the five known human malarial species, Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest and most resistant to antimalarials. Hence, there is a need for new antimalarial targets. The rational design of a drug is usually based on biochemical and physiological differences between pathogens and their hosts. In view of their high rate of replication, parasites require very active nucleic acid synthesis which necessitates large supplies of the indispensable pyrimidine nucleotides. Consequently, delineation of P. falciparum pyrimidine metabolic pathways may reveal potential targets for the chemotherapy of malaria. Previous studies reported the existence of pyrimidine de novo pathways in this organism. The present results demonstrate the presence of enzymes of the pyrimidine salvage pathways in P. falciparum and indicate that this parasite is capable of pyrimidine salvage. Furthermore, some of the pyrimidine salvage enzymes, e.g., dTMP kinase, phosphoribosyltransferase, and uridine phosphorylase could be excellent targets for chemotherapeutic intervention against this parasite.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Naguib FNM; Wilson CM; el Kouni MH
  • Start Page

  • 115
  • End Page

  • 122
  • Volume

  • 105