Cysteine proteases of the malaria parasite Plasmodium
falciparum, known as falcipains, are promising
targets for antimalarial chemotherapy. We evaluated
cultured parasites for the stagespecific expression
of cysteine proteases and sensitivity to cysteine protease
inhibitors. Protease activity and inhibitor sensitivity
varied markedly over time. Cysteine protease
activity was greatest in early trophozoites, while sensitivity
to cysteine protease inhibitors was greatest in
mature trophozoites. Our results indicate the importance
of considering the stagespecific effects of antimalarials
and are consistent with the conclusion
that the principal antimalarial activity of cysteine protease
inhibitors is due to a block in hemoglobin hydrolysis.
Biological Chemistry keeps you up-to-date with the latest advances in the molecular life sciences. The journal publishes Research Articles, Short Communications, Reviews and Minireviews. Areas include: general biochemistry/pathobiochemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, genetics and epigenetics, virology, molecular medicine, plant molecular biology/biochemistry and novel experimental methodologies.