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Eur J Med Chem April 5, 2021; 215 113227.

Synthesis and biological evaluation of benzhydryl-based antiplasmodial agents possessing Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) inhibitory activity.

Relitti N , Federico S , Pozzetti L , Butini S , Lamponi S , Taramelli D , D'Alessandro S , Martin RE , Shafik SH , Summers RL , Babij SK , Habluetzel A , Tapanelli S , Caldelari R , Gemma S , Campiani G .

Due to the surge in resistance to common therapies, malaria remains a significant concern to human health worldwide. In chloroquine (CQ)-resistant (CQ-R) strains of Plasmodium falciparum, CQ and related drugs are effluxed from the parasite''s digestive vacuole (DV). This process is mediated by mutant isoforms of a protein called CQ resistance transporter (PfCRT). CQ-R strains can be partially re-sensitized to CQ by verapamil (VP), primaquine (PQ) and other compounds, and this has been shown to be due to the ability of these molecules to inhibit drug transport via PfCRT. We have previously developed a series of clotrimazole (CLT)-based antimalarial agents that possess inhibitory activity against PfCRT (4a,b). In our endeavor to develop novel PfCRT inhibitors, and to perform a structure-activity relationship analysis, we synthesized a new library of analogues. When the benzhydryl system was linked to a 4-aminoquinoline group (5a-f) the resulting compounds exhibited good cytotoxicity against both CQ-R and CQ-S strains of P. falciparum. The most potent inhibitory activity against the PfCRT-mediated transport of CQ was obtained with compound 5k. When compared to the reference compound, benzhydryl analogues of PQ (5i,j) showed a similar activity against blood-stage parasites, and a stronger in vitro potency against liver-stage parasites. Unfortunately, in the in vivo transmission blocking assays, 5i,j were inactive against gametocytes.

PubMed ID: 33601312
Article link: Eur J Med Chem

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis

Disease Ontology terms: malaria [+]