Apicoplast: a brilliant focus for antimalarial drug development

  • Souvik Mukherjee Central University of Punjab
  • Deepronil Roy Central University of Punjab
  • Suman Das Central University of Punjab
Keywords: Malaria, apicoplast, fatty acid, heme, isoprenoids, biosynthesis, combination therapy


Malaria is a lifestyle-threatening tropical disorder, due to the intracellular parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The sector health employer counts malaria as one of the pinnacle ten reasons of worldwide demise. The unavailability of a successful malaria vaccine and the ever-increasing times of drug resistance in the malaria parasite call for the invention of new targets inside P. falciparum for the development of next generation antimalarial drug. Fortuitously, all apicomplexan parasites, along with P. falciparum harbor a relict, non-photosynthetic plastid referred to as the apicoplast. The apicoplast is a semi-self-sustaining organelle within P. falciparum, containing a 35 kb circular genome. Notwithstanding a genome of its own, majority of the apicoplast proteins are encoded by means of the parasite nucleus and imported into the apicoplast. The organelle has been proven to be vital to P. falciparum survival and the loss the apicoplast manifests as a ‘not on time loss of life’ response in the parasite. The apicoplast has advanced out of cyanobacteria in a complicated, two step endosymbiotic event. As a result, the architecture and the gene expression machinery of the apicoplast is pretty bacteria-like and is at risk of a wide variety of antibiotics consisting of fosmidomycin, tetracycline, azithromycin, clindamycin and triclosan. The biosynthetic pathways for isoprenoids, fatty acids and heme function within the malaria apicoplast, making the organelle a top notch goal for drug development. This review specializes in the evolution, biology and the essentiality of the apicoplast inside the malaria parasite and discusses a number of the current achievements toward the layout and discovery of apicoplast focused antimalarial drug.

Author Biographies

Souvik Mukherjee, Central University of Punjab

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Natural Products,
Central University of Punjab,
Bathinda, Punjab, India

Deepronil Roy, Central University of Punjab

2Department of Animal Sciences,
Central University of Punjab,
Bathinda, Punjab, India

Suman Das, Central University of Punjab

Department of Human Genetics & Molecular Medicine,
Central University of Punjab,
Bathinda, Punjab, India


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How to Cite
Mukherjee, S., Roy, D. and Das, S. 2018. Apicoplast: a brilliant focus for antimalarial drug development. PharmaTutor. 6, 5 (May 2018), 13-22. DOI:https://doi.org/10.29161/PT.v6.i5.2018.13.