Purified Plasmodium falciparum multi-drug resistance protein (PfMDR 1) binds a high affinity chloroquine analogue.
ABSTRACT: We utilize the recent successful overexpression of recombinant Plasmodium falciparum multi-drug resistance transporter, purification and reconstitution of the protein, and a novel high affinity chloroquine analogue to probe hypothesized interaction between the transporter and quinoline drugs. Results suggest that PfMDR1 binding sites for chloroquine, mefloquine, and quinine overlap, that P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter has intrinsically higher affinity for chloroquine relative to P. falciparum multi-drug resistance transporter, and that there is an isoform specific competition between the two transporters for binding of quinoline antimalarial drugs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Malaria continues to be endemic in the coast and Amazon regions of Ecuador. Clarifying current Plasmodium falciparum resistance in the country will support malaria elimination efforts. In this study, Ecuadorian P. falciparum parasites were analysed to determine their drug resistance genotypes and phenotypes. METHODS:Molecular analyses were performed to search for mutations in known resistance markers (Pfcrt, Pfdhfr, Pfdhps, Pfmdr1, k13). Pfmdr1 copy number was determined by qPCR. PFMDR1 transporter activity was characterized in live parasites using live cell imaging in combination with the Fluo-4 transport assay. Chloroquine, quinine, lumefantrine, mefloquine, dihydroartemisinin, and artemether sensitivities were measured by in vitro assays. RESULTS:The majority of samples from this study presented the CVMNT genotype for Pfcrt (72-26), NEDF SDFD mutations in Pfmdr1 and wild type genotypes for Pfdhfr, Pfdhps and k13. The Ecuadorian P. falciparum strain ESM-2013 showed in vitro resistance to chloroquine, but sensitivity to quinine, lumefantrine, mefloquine, dihydroartemisinin and artemether. In addition, transport of the fluorochrome Fluo-4 from the cytosol into the digestive vacuole (DV) of the ESM-2013 strain was minimally detected in the DV. All analysed samples revealed one copy of Pfmdr1. CONCLUSION:This study indicates that Ecuadorian parasites presented the genotype and phenotype for chloroquine resistance and were found to be sensitive to SP, artemether-lumefantrine, quinine, mefloquine, and dihydroartemisinin. The results suggest that the current malaria treatment employed in the country remains effective. This study clarifies the status of anti-malarial resistance in Ecuador and informs the P. falciparum elimination campaigns in the country.
Project description:Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum remains a challenge for the malaria eradication programmes around the world. With the emergence of artemisinin resistance, the efficacy of the partner drugs in the artemisinin combination therapies (ACT) that include quinoline-based drugs is becoming critical. So far only few resistance markers have been identified from which only two transmembrane transporters namely PfMDR1 (an ATP-binding cassette transporter) and PfCRT (a drug-metabolite transporter) have been experimentally verified. Another P. falciparum transporter, the ATP-binding cassette containing multidrug resistance-associated protein (PfMRP2) represents an additional possible factor of drug resistance in P. falciparum. In this study, we identified a parasite clone that is derived from the 3D7 P. falciparum strain and shows increased resistance to chloroquine, mefloquine and quinine through the trophozoite and schizont stages. We demonstrate that the resistance phenotype is caused by a 4.1 kb deletion in the 5' upstream region of the pfmrp2 gene that leads to an alteration in the pfmrp2 transcription and thus increased level of PfMRP2 protein. These results also suggest the importance of putative promoter elements in regulation of gene expression during the P. falciparum intra-erythrocytic developmental cycle and the potential of genetic polymorphisms within these regions to underlie drug resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Lumefantrine and mefloquine are used worldwide in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) of malaria. Better understanding of drug susceptibility and resistance is needed and can be obtained from studies of genetic crosses. METHODS:Drug response phenotypes of a cross between Plasmodium falciparum lines 803 (Cambodia) and GB4 (Ghana) were obtained as half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50s) and days to recovery (DTR) after 24 h exposure to 500 nM lumefantrine. EC50s of mefloquine, halofantrine, chloroquine, and dihydroartemisinin were also determined. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and statistical tests with candidate genes were used to identify polymorphisms associated with response phenotypes. RESULTS:Lumefantrine EC50s averaged 5.8-fold higher for the 803 than GB4 parent, and DTR results were 3-5 and 16-18 days, respectively. In 803 × GB4 progeny, outcomes of these two lumefantrine assays showed strong inverse correlation; these phenotypes also correlated strongly with mefloquine and halofantrine EC50s. By QTL analysis, lumefantrine and mefloquine phenotypes mapped to a chromosome 5 region containing codon polymorphisms N86Y and Y184F in the P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 protein (PfMDR1). Statistical tests of candidate genes identified correlations between inheritance of PfK13 Kelch protein polymorphism C580Y (and possibly K189T) and lumefantrine and mefloquine susceptibilities. Correlations were detected between lumefantrine and chloroquine EC50s and polymorphisms N326S and I356T in the CVIET-type P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (PfCRT) common to 803 and GB4. CONCLUSIONS:Correlations in this study suggest common mechanisms of action in lumefantrine, mefloquine, and halofantrine responses. PfK13 as well as PfMDR1 and PfCRT polymorphisms may affect access and/or action of these arylaminoalcohol drugs at locations of hemoglobin digestion and heme metabolism. In endemic regions, pressure from use of lumefantrine or mefloquine in ACTs may drive selection of PfK13 polymorphisms along with versions of PfMDR1 and PfCRT associated with lower susceptibility to these drugs.
Project description:Antimalarial chemotherapy, globally reliant on artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), is threatened by the spread of drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Here we use zinc-finger nucleases to genetically modify the multidrug resistance-1 transporter PfMDR1 at amino acids 86 and 184, and demonstrate that the widely prevalent N86Y mutation augments resistance to the ACT partner drug amodiaquine and the former first-line agent chloroquine. In contrast, N86Y increases parasite susceptibility to the partner drugs lumefantrine and mefloquine, and the active artemisinin metabolite dihydroartemisinin. The PfMDR1 N86 plus Y184F isoform moderately reduces piperaquine potency in strains expressing an Asian/African variant of the chloroquine resistance transporter PfCRT. Mutations in both digestive vacuole-resident transporters are thought to differentially regulate ACT drug interactions with host haem, a product of parasite-mediated haemoglobin degradation. Global mapping of these mutations illustrates where the different ACTs could be selectively deployed to optimize treatment based on regional differences in PfMDR1 haplotypes.
Project description:The aim of the present work was to assess the in vitro cross-resistance of pyronaridine with other quinoline drugs, artesunate and several other commonly used anti-malarials and to evaluate whether decreased susceptibility to pyronaridine could be associated with genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in reduced quinoline susceptibility, such as pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfmrp and pfnhe.The in vitro chemosusceptibility profiles of 23 strains of Plasmodium falciparum were analysed by the standard 42-hour 3H-hypoxanthine uptake inhibition method for pyronaridine, artesunate, chloroquine, monodesethylamodiaquine, quinine, mefloquine, lumefantrine, atovaquone, pyrimethamine and doxycycline. Genotypes were assessed for pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfnhe-1 and pfmrp genes.The IC50 values for pyronaridine ranged from 15 to 49 nM (geometric mean = 23.1 nM). A significant positive correlation was found between responses to pyronaridine and responses to artesunate (r2 = 0.20; P = 0.0317) but too low to suggest cross-resistance. No significant correlation was found between pyronaridine IC50 and responses to other anti-malarials. Significant associations were not found between pyronaridine IC50 and polymorphisms in pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfmrp or pfnhe-1.There was an absence of cross-resistance between pyronaridine and quinolines, and the IC50 values for pyronaridine were found to be unrelated to mutations in the transport protein genes pfcrt, pfmdr1, pfmrp or pfnhe-1, known to be involved in quinoline resistance. These results confirm the interest and the efficacy of the use of a combination of pyronaridine and artesunate in areas in which parasites are resistant to quinolines.
Project description:Molecular studies have demonstrated that mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene (Pfcrt) play a major role in chloroquine resistance, while mutations in P. falciparum multidrug resistance gene (Pfmdr-1) act as modulator. In Madagascar, the high rate of chloroquine treatment failure (44%) appears disconnected from the overall level of in vitro CQ susceptibility (prevalence of CQ-resistant parasites <5%) or Pfcrt mutant isolates (<1%), strongly contrasting with sub-Saharan African countries. Previous studies showed a high frequency of Pfmdr-1 mutant parasites (>60% of isolates), but did not explore their association with P. falciparum chloroquine resistance. To document the association of Pfmdr-1 alleles with chloroquine resistance in Madagascar, 249 P. falciparum samples collected from patients enrolled in a chloroquine in vivo efficacy study were genotyped in Pfcrt/Pfmdr-1 genes as well as the estimation of the Pfmdr-1 copy number. Except 2 isolates, all samples displayed a wild-type Pfcrt allele without Pfmdr-1 amplification. Chloroquine treatment failures were significantly associated with Pfmdr-1 86Y mutant codon (OR?=?4.6). The cumulative incidence of recurrence of patients carrying the Pfmdr-1 86Y mutation at day 0 (21 days) was shorter than patients carrying Pfmdr-1 86N wild type codon (28 days). In an independent set of 90 selected isolates, in vitro susceptibility to chloroquine was not associated with Pfmdr-1 polymorphisms. Analysis of two microsatellites flanking Pfmdr-1 allele showed that mutations occurred on multiple genetic backgrounds. In Madagascar, Pfmdr-1 polymorphism is associated with late chloroquine clinical failures and unrelated with in vitro susceptibility or Pfcrt genotype. These results highlight the limits of the current in vitro tests routinely used to monitor CQ drug resistance in this unique context. Gaining insight about the mechanisms that regulate polymorphism in Pfmdr1 remains important, particularly regarding the evolution and spread of Pfmdr-1 alleles in P. falciparum populations under changing drug pressure which may have important consequences in terms of antimalarial use management.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Scarce data are available on Plasmodium falciparum anti-malarial drug resistance in Pakistan. The aim of this study was, therefore, to determine the prevalence of P. falciparum resistance associated polymorphisms in field isolates from southern Pakistan. METHODS: Blood samples from 244 patients with blood-slide confirmed P. falciparum mono-infections were collected between 2005-2007. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt K76T), multi drug resistance (pfmdr1 N86Y), dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr A16V, N51I, C59R, S108N, I164L) and dihydropteroate synthetase (pfdhps A436S, G437A and E540K) genes and pfmdr1 gene copy numbers were determined using PCR based methods. RESULTS: The prevalence of pfcrt 76T and pfmdr1 86Y was 93% and 57%, respectively. The prevalence of pfdhfr double mutations 59R + 108N/51R + 108N was 92%. The pfdhfr triple mutation (51I, 59R, 108N) occurred in 3% of samples. The pfdhfr (51I, 59R, 108N) and pfdhps (437G, 540E) quintuple mutation was found in one isolate. Pfdhps 437G was observed in 51% and 540E in 1% of the isolates. One isolate had two pfmdr1 copies and carried the pfmdr1 86Y and pfcrt 76T alleles. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate high prevalence of in vivo resistance to chloroquine, whereas high grade resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine does not appear to be widespread among P. falciparum in southern Pakistan.
Project description:On the western border of Thailand, Plasmodium falciparum has become resistant to almost all antimalarial agents. The molecular basis of resistance in these parasite populations has not been well characterized. This study assessed genetic polymorphisms in the pfmdr1 gene in 54 parasites collected from the western border of Thailand to determine the relationship of pfmdr1 copy number and codon mutations with parasite sensitivities to mefloquine, chloroquine, halofantrine, quinine, and artesunate assessed in vitro. A point mutation at codon 86 (resulting in a change of Asn to Tyr) was associated with a significantly lower 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of mefloquine (median, 9 ng/ml versus 52.4 ng/ml; P = 0.003). Overall 35% of the isolates (19 of 54) had an increase in pfmdr1 copy number, and all 19 carried the wild-type allele at codon 86. Increased pfmdr1 copy number was associated with higher IC(50)s of mefloquine (P = 0.04) and artesunate (P = 0.005), independent of polymorphism at codon 86. The relationship between pfmdr1 and resistance to structurally distinct antimalarial agents confirms the presence of a true multidrug-resistant phenotype.
Project description:Mefloquine is widely used in combination with artemisinin derivatives for the treatment of falciparum malaria. Mefloquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum has been related to increased copy numbers of multidrug-resistant gene 1 (pfmdr1). We studied the ex vivo dynamics of pfmdr1 gene amplification in culture-adapted P. falciparum in relation to mefloquine resistance and parasite fitness. A Thai P. falciparum isolate (isolate TM036) was assessed by the use of multiple genetic markers as a single genotype. Resistance was selected by exposure to stepwise increasing concentrations of mefloquine up to 30 ng/ml in continuous culture. The pfmdr1 gene copy numbers increased as susceptibility to mefloquine declined (P = 0.03). No codon mutations at positions 86, 184, 1034, 1042, and 1246 in the pfmdr1 gene were detected. Two subclones of selected parasites (average copy numbers, 2.3 and 3.1, respectively) showed a fitness disadvantage when they were grown together with the original parasites containing a single pfmdr1 gene copy in the absence of mefloquine; the multiplication rates were 6.3% and 8.7% lower, respectively (P < 0.01). Modeling of the dynamics of the pfmdr1 copy numbers over time in relation to the relative fitness of the parasites suggested that net pfmdr1 gene amplification from one to two copies occurs once in every 10(8) parasites and that amplification from two to three copies occurs once in every 10(3) parasites. pfmdr1 gene amplification in P. falciparum is a frequent event and confers mefloquine resistance. Parasites with multiple copies of the pfmdr1 gene have decreased survival fitness in the absence of drug pressure.
Project description:Cambodia's first-line artemisinin combination therapy, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ), is no longer sufficiently curative against multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria at some Thai-Cambodian border regions. We report recent (2008 to 2013) drug resistance trends in 753 isolates from northern, western, and southern Cambodia by surveying for ex vivo drug susceptibility and molecular drug resistance markers to guide the selection of an effective alternative to DHA-PPQ. Over the last 3 study years, PPQ susceptibility declined dramatically (geomean 50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] increased from 12.8 to 29.6 nM), while mefloquine (MQ) sensitivity doubled (67.1 to 26 nM) in northern Cambodia. These changes in drug susceptibility were significantly associated with a decreased prevalence of P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 gene (Pfmdr1) multiple copy isolates and coincided with the timing of replacing artesunate-mefloquine (AS-MQ) with DHA-PPQ as the first-line therapy. Widespread chloroquine resistance was suggested by all isolates being of the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter gene CVIET haplotype. Nearly all isolates collected from the most recent years had P. falciparum kelch13 mutations, indicative of artemisinin resistance. Ex vivo bioassay measurements of antimalarial activity in plasma indicated 20% of patients recently took antimalarials, and their plasma had activity (median of 49.8 nM DHA equivalents) suggestive of substantial in vivo drug pressure. Overall, our findings suggest DHA-PPQ failures are associated with emerging PPQ resistance in a background of artemisinin resistance. The observed connection between drug policy changes and significant reduction in PPQ susceptibility with mitigation of MQ resistance supports reintroduction of AS-MQ, in conjunction with monitoring of the P. falciparum mdr1 copy number, as a stop-gap measure in areas of DHA-PPQ failure.