Multiple drugs compete for transport via the Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter at distinct but interdependent sites

Sebastiano Bellanca, Robert L. Summers, Max Meyrath, Anurag Dave, Megan N. Nash, Martin Dittmer, Cecilia P. Sanchez, Wilfred D. Stein, Rowena E. Martin*, Michael Lanzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mutations in the "chloroquine resistance transporter" (PfCRT) are a major determinant of drug resistance in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We have previously shown that mutant PfCRT transports the antimalarial drug chloroquine away from its target, whereas the wild-type form of PfCRT does not. However, little is understood about the transport of other drugs via PfCRT or the mechanism by which PfCRT recognizes different substrates. Here we show that mutant PfCRT also transports quinine, quinidine, and verapamil, indicating that the protein behaves as a multidrug resistance carrier. Detailed kinetic analyses revealed that chloroquine and quinine compete for transport via PfCRT in a manner that is consistent with mixed-type inhibition. Moreover, our analyses suggest that PfCRT accepts chloroquine and quinine at distinct but antagonistically interacting sites. We also found verapamil to be a partial mixed-type inhibitor of chloroquine transport via PfCRT, further supporting the idea that PfCRT possesses multiple substratebinding sites. Our findings provide new mechanistic insights into the workings of PfCRT, which could be exploited to design potent inhibitors of this key mediator of drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36336-36351
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume289
Issue number52
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

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