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Analysis of Antimalarial Synergy between Bestatin and Endoprotease Inhibitors Using Statistical Response-Surface Modelling

American Society for Microbiology
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  • Susceptibility
  • Medicine


The pathway of hemoglobin degradation by erythrocytic stages of the human malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum involves initial cleavages of globin chains, catalyzed by several endoproteases, followed by liberation of amino acids from the resulting peptides, probably by aminopeptidases. This pathway is considered a promising chemotherapeutic target, especially in view of the antimalarial synergy observed between inhibitors of aspartyl and cysteine endoproteases. We have applied response-surface modelling to assess antimalarial interactions between endoprotease and aminopeptidase inhibitors using cultured P. falciparum parasites. The synergies observed were consistent with a combined role of endoproteases and aminopeptidases in hemoglobin catabolism in this organism. As synergies between antimicrobial agents are often inferred without proper statistical analysis, the model used may be widely applied in studies of antimicrobial drug interactions.

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