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Targeting Protein Synthesis in the Apicoplast and Cytoplasm of Plasmodium

Targeting Protein Synthesis in the Apicoplast and Cytoplasm of Plasmodium

Objective

The protein synthesis machinery represents one of the most useful targets for the development of new anti-infectives. Several families of broadly used antibiotics (tetracyclines, macrolides, and novel glycopeptides like vancomycin, among others) exert their function by blocking the protein synthesis machinery. Doxicycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, remains a useful tool for the prevention of paludism among travellers, despite its numerous secondary effects. And yet, very little is known about the specifics of the protein synthesis machinery in Plasmodium. A search of articles in the PubMed library with the words Plasmodium and ribosome/ribosomal in their titles will yield 6 publications since the year 2000. Only one article contains the words tRNA (or transfer RNA) and Plasmodium in its title, in the same period. And only one article in PubMed (Snewin et al., 1996) contains the words Plasmodium and ‘tRNA synthetase’ (or ligase) in its title. This lack of information about this central metabolic pathway in Plasmodium clearly blocks the possibility of transferring the knowledge in protein synthesis to the development of new anti-malarial drugs directed against the translational machinery of the parasite. Thus, the study of components of the genetic code in Plasmodium has the potential for providing new and important information on the biology of the parasite and, more importantly, open new leads for the development of novel anti-malarials. This proposal coordinates an effort to study tRNA biology in Plasmodium falciparum. It contains specific schemes for the development of new pharmacological screens, several initiatives for the selection of new potential anti-malarial drugs, and projects designed to answer fundamental questions regarding protein synthesis in Plasmodium. The laboratories in MEPHITIS accumulate a large body of experience in the biology of this parasite, and in different aspects of tRNA biology in model species.
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Coordinator

FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE RECERCA BIOMEDICA (IRB BARCELONA)

Address

Carrer Baldiri Reixac 10-12 Parc Scientific De Barcelona
08028 Barcelona

Spain

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 741 489

Administrative Contact

Adriana Grosu (Ms.)

Participants (7)

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INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR GENETIC ENGINEERING AND BIOTECHNOLOGY

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 151 650

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 269 530

UNIVERSIDADE DE AVEIRO

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 259 056

FUNDACIO PARC CIENTIFIC DE BARCELONA

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 329 256

UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Australia

ISTITUTO SUPERIORE DI SANITA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 96 000

COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH

India

EU Contribution

€ 298 170

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 223024

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2009

  • End date

    30 June 2012

Funded under:

FP7-HEALTH

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 253 380,21

  • EU contribution

    € 2 145 151

Coordinated by:

FUNDACIO INSTITUT DE RECERCA BIOMEDICA (IRB BARCELONA)

Spain

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