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Review
. 2017 Jan 5;125:640-651.
doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.09.085. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase: A Drug Target for the Development of Antimalarials

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Review

Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase: A Drug Target for the Development of Antimalarials

Anju Singh et al. Eur J Med Chem. .

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Abstract

Malaria is a critical human disease with extensive exploration yet unestablished due to occurrence of frequent drug resistance. This aspect of malaria pharmacology calls for the introduction of new antimalarial. The drugs reported till date targeted different stages of the parasites in order to stop their growth and proliferation. Beside this, various drugs that could inhibit the imperative enzymes of the parasite have also been reported. Amid them, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) has a key worth. DHODH is involved in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis of the malarial parasite which acts as a primary source of energy for its survival. Since life of the parasite utterly depends on pyrimidine biosynthesis, so it can be used as an apt drug target for malaria eradication. In addition to this, DHODH is also present in human and their active sites have significant structural dissimilarities, so the development of selective inhibitors may prove to be a milestone in search of new antimalarials. Inhibitors of human DHODH have been used to treat autoimmune diseases such as, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis and have been investigated in the treatment of cancer, viral diseases, as well as in plant pathology. Here, we have reviewed the important role of DHODH as a viable drug target against malaria, its importance for the survival of the parasite, and DHODH inhibitors reported so far. The rate of success of the reported DHODH inhibitors and further required improvements have also been accounted.

Keywords: Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH); Drug resistance; Malaria; Plasmodium parasite; Pyrimidine biosynthesis.

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