Mechanism of small molecule inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum myosin A informs antimalarial drug design

Nom de la revue
Dihia Moussaoui, James P. Robblee, Daniel Auguin, Fabio Fisher, Patricia M. Fagnant, Jill E. Macfarlane, Julia Schaletzky, Eddie Wehri, Christoph Mueller-Dieckmann, Jake Baum, Julien Robert-Paganin, Kathleen M. Trybus, Anne Houdusse

AbstractMalaria is responsible for more than a half million deaths per year. The Plasmodium parasites responsible continue to develop resistance to all known agents, despite treatment with different antimalarial combinations. The atypical Myosin A motor (PfMyoA) is part of a core macromolecular complex called the glideosome, essential for Plasmodium parasite mobility and therefore an attractive drug target. Here, we characterize the interaction of a small molecule (KNX-002) with PfMyoA. KNX-002 inhibits PfMyoA ATPase activity in vitro and blocks asexual blood stage growth of merozoites, one of three motile Plasmodium life-cycle stages. Combining biochemical assays, X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that KNX-002 targets a novel pocket in PfMyoA, sequestering it in a post-rigor state detached from actin. KNX-002 binding affects Mg2+ coordination near ATP, preventing ATP hydrolysis and thus inhibiting motor activity. This first-in-class small-molecule inhibitor of PfMyoA paves the way for developing a new generation of antimalarial treatments.