The antimalarial drug, chloroquine, interacts with lactate dehydrogenase from Plasmodium falciparum Academic Article uri icon


  • We have previously shown that a radioiodinated photoreactive analogue of chloroquine, [125I]N-(4-(4-diethylamino-1-methylbutylamino)quinolin-6-yl) -4-azido-2-hydroxybenzamide ([125I]ASA-Q), specifically labels two proteins in Plasmodium falciparum with apparent molecular weights (Mr) of 42 and 33 kDa (Foley M, Deady LW, Ng K, Cowman AF, Tilley L. J Biol Chem 1994:269:6955-6961). We now report the identification of the 33 kDa protein. The 33 kDa protein was purified from Plasmodium falciparum using photoaffinity labeling with [125I]ASA-Q to monitor the enrichment process. N-terminal sequence analysis of the purified protein revealed exact identity of the first 35 amino acids with P. falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH). The plasmodial enzyme was cloned and expressed in E. coli and the recombinant protein used to produce a rabbit antiserum. Immunoprecipitation using affinity-purified anti-PfLDH antibodies confirmed the identity of the 33 kDa CQ-binding protein. The enzyme activity of purified PfLDH was not significantly affected by chloroquine indicating that PfLDH is not a direct target of CQ. PfLDH was, however, shown to be exquisitely sensitive to inhibition by free heme and chloroquine protected against this inhibitory effect.

publication date

  • September 1997

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