The apicoplast as an antimalarial drug target

Drug Resist Updat. 2001 Jun;4(3):145-51. doi: 10.1054/drup.2001.0205.


Resistance to commonly used malaria drugs is spreading and new drugs are required urgently. The recent identification of a relict chloroplast (apicoplast) in malaria and related parasites offers numerous new targets for drug therapy using well-characterized compounds. The apicoplast contains a range of metabolic pathways and housekeeping processes that differ radically to those of the host thereby presenting ideal strategies for drug therapy. Indeed, many compounds targeting these plastid pathways are antimalarial and have favourable profiles based on extensive knowledge from their use as antibacterials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / metabolism
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / metabolism
  • Plastids / drug effects*
  • Plastids / metabolism*


  • Antimalarials