Characterization of PfTrxR inhibitors using antimalarial assays and in silico techniques

Ranjith Munigunti, Symon Gathiaka, Orlando Acevedo, Rajnish Sahu, Babu Tekwani, Angela I. Calderón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The compounds 1,4-napthoquinone (1,4-NQ), bis-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)sulfide (2,4-DNPS), 4-nitrobenzothiadiazole (4-NBT), 3-dimethylaminopropiophenone (3-DAP) and menadione (MD) were tested for antimalarial activity against both chloroquine (CQ)-sensitive (D6) and chloroquine (CQ)-resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum through an in vitro assay and also for analysis of non-covalent interactions with P. falciparum thioredoxin reductase (PfTrxR) through in silico docking studies.Results: The inhibitors of PfTrxR namely, 1,4-NQ, 4-NBT and MD displayed significant antimalarial activity with IC50 values of < 20 μM and toxicity against 3T3 cell line. 2,4-DNPS was only moderately active. In silico docking analysis of these compounds with PfTrxR revealed that 2,4-DNPS, 4-NBT and MD interact non-covalently with the intersubunit region of the enzyme.Conclusions: In this study, tools for the identification of PfTrxR inhibitors using phenotyphic screening and docking studies have been validated for their potential use for antimalarial drug discovery project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number175
JournalChemistry Central Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 10 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Malaria
  • Molecular modeling
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Thioredoxin reductase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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