XB-ART-53897J Biol Chem. September 29, 2017; 292 (39): 16109-16121.
Iron is a substrate of the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter PfCRT in Xenopus oocytes.
The chloroquine resistance transporter of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, PfCRT, is an important determinant of resistance to several quinoline and quinoline-like antimalarial drugs. PfCRT also plays an essential role in the physiology of the parasite during development inside erythrocytes. However, the function of this transporter besides its role in drug resistance is still unclear. Using electrophysiological and flux experiments conducted on PfCRT-expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes, we show here that both wild-type PfCRT and a PfCRT variant associated with chloroquine resistance transport both ferrous and ferric iron, albeit with different kinetics. In particular, we found that the ability to transport ferrous iron is reduced by the specific polymorphisms acquired by the PfCRT variant as a result of chloroquine selection. We further show that iron and chloroquine transport via PfCRT is electrogenic. If these findings in the Xenopus model extend to P. falciparum in vivo, our data suggest that PfCRT might play a role in iron homeostasis, which is essential for the parasite''s development in erythrocytes.
PubMed ID: 28768767
PMC ID: PMC5625042
Article link: J Biol Chem.