Targeting malaria protein kinases

G.C. Cassiano, T.A. Tavella, M.N. Nascimento, D.A. Rodrigues, P.V.L. Cravo, C.H. Andrade, F.T.M. Costa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria is one of the most impacting public health problems in tropical and subtropical areas of the globe, with approximately 200 million cases worldwide annually. In the absence of an effective vaccine, rapid treatment is vital for effective malaria control. However, parasite resistance to currently available drugs underscores the urgent need for identifying new antimalarial therapies with new mechanisms of action. Among potential drug targets for developing new antimalarial candidates, protein kinases are attractive. These enzymes catalyze the phosphorylation of several proteins, thereby regulating a variety of cellular processes and playing crucial roles in the development of all stages of the malaria parasite life cycle. Moreover, the large phylogenetic distance between Plasmodium species and its human host is reflected in marked differences in structure and function of malaria protein kinases between the homologs of both species, indicating that selectivity can be attained. In this review, we describe the functions of the different types of Plasmodium kinases and highlight the main recent advances in the discovery of kinase inhibitors as potential new antimalarial drug candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in protein chemistry and structural biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology
ISSN (Print)1876-1623


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