BibTex format

author = {Wilkinson, MD and Lai, H-E and Freemont, PS and Baum, J},
doi = {10.1128/aac.02129-19},
journal = {Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy},
pages = {1--9},
title = {A biosynthetic platform for antimalarial drug discovery},
url = {},
volume = {64},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Advances in synthetic biology have enabled production of a variety of compounds using bacteria as a vehicle for complex compound biosynthesis. Violacein, a naturally occurring indole pigment with antibiotic properties, can be biosynthetically engineered in Escherichia coli expressing its non-native synthesis pathway. To explore whether this synthetic biosynthesis platform could be used for drug discovery, here we have screened bacterially-derived violacein against the main causative agent of human malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. We show the antiparasitic activity of bacterially-derived violacein against the P. falciparum 3D7 laboratory reference strain as well as drug-sensitive and resistant patient isolates, confirming the potential utility of this drug as an antimalarial. We then screen a biosynthetic series of violacein derivatives against P. falciparum growth. The demonstrated varied activity of each derivative against asexual parasite growth points to potential for further development of violacein as an antimalarial. Towards defining its mode of action, we show that biosynthetic violacein affects the parasite actin cytoskeleton, resulting in an accumulation of actin signal that is independent of actin polymerization. This activity points to a target that modulates actin behaviour in the cell either in terms of its regulation or its folding. More broadly, our data show that bacterial synthetic biosynthesis could become a suitable platform for antimalarial drug discovery with potential applications in future high-throughput drug screening with otherwise chemically-intractable natural products.
AU - Wilkinson,MD
AU - Lai,H-E
AU - Freemont,PS
AU - Baum,J
DO - 10.1128/aac.02129-19
EP - 9
PY - 2020///
SN - 0066-4804
SP - 1
TI - A biosynthetic platform for antimalarial drug discovery
T2 - Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 64
ER -