Antimalarial proteasome inhibitor reveals collateral sensitivity from intersubunit interactions and fitness cost of resistance Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Germ Cells
  • Malaria
  • Parasites
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Sexual Development
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • © 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. We describe noncovalent, reversible asparagine ethylenediamine (AsnEDA) inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum proteasome (Pf20S) β5 subunit that spare all active subunits of human constitutive and immuno-proteasomes. The compounds are active against erythrocytic, sexual, and liver-stage parasites, against parasites resistant to current antimalarials, and against P. falciparum strains from patients in Africa. The β5 inhibitors synergize with a β2 inhibitor in vitro and in mice and with artemisinin. P. falciparum selected for resistance to an AsnEDA β5 inhibitor surprisingly harbored a point mutation in the noncatalytic β6 subunit. The β6 mutant was resistant to the species-selective Pf20S β5 inhibitor but remained sensitive to the species-nonselective β5 inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib. Moreover, resistance to the Pf20S β5 inhibitor was accompanied by increased sensitivity to a Pf20S β2 inhibitor. Finally, the β5 inhibitor-resistant mutant had a fitness cost that was exacerbated by irradiation. Thus, used in combination, multistage-active inhibitors of the Pf20S β5 and β2 subunits afford synergistic antimalarial activity with a potential to delay the emergence of resistance to artemisinins and each other.


publication date

  • July 17, 2018



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1806109115

PubMed ID

  • 29967165

Additional Document Info

start page

  • E6863

end page

  • E6870


  • 115


  • 29