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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2013, Article ID 435981, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/435981
Review Article

Trafficked Proteins—Druggable in Plasmodium falciparum?

1Unit for Drug Discovery, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Science, University of São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu Prestes 1374, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Cardiology, Heart Institute InCor, Avenida Dr. Eneas de Carvalho Aguiar 44, 05403-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 20 January 2013; Accepted 12 March 2013

Academic Editor: Haruki Hasegawa

Copyright © 2013 Jasmin Lindner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Malaria is an infectious disease that results in serious health problems in the countries in which it is endemic. Annually this parasitic disease leads to more than half a million deaths; most of these are children in Africa. An effective vaccine is not available, and the treatment of the disease is solely dependent on chemotherapy. However, drug resistance is spreading, and the identification of new drug targets as well as the development of new antimalarials is urgently required. Attention has been drawn to a variety of essential plasmodial proteins, which are targeted to intra- or extracellular destinations, such as the digestive vacuole, the apicoplast, or into the host cell. Interfering with the action or the transport of these proteins will impede proliferation of the parasite. In this mini review, we will shed light on the present discovery of chemotherapeutics and potential drug targets involved in protein trafficking processes in the malaria parasite.