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Malaria remains a major public health disease due to its high yearly mortality and morbidity. Resistance to the gold standard drug, artemisinin, is worrisome and needs better understanding in order to be overcome. In this work, we sought to study whether redox processes are involved in artemisinin resistance. As artemisinin is known to act among others via production of reactive species, we first compared the production of reactive oxygen species and concomitant protein oxidation in artemisinin-sensitive and artemisinin-resistant parasites when treated with artemisinin. The results undoubtedly demonstrated, using different original methods, that the level of ROS, including superoxide production, and oxidized protein were lower in the resistant strain. Interestingly, the major in-between strain difference was reported at the earlier ring stages, which are the forms able to enter in a quiescence state according to the ART resistance phenomenon. Moreover, we demonstrated a better homeostasis regulation in relation with higher expression of antioxidants in the artemisinin-resistant parasites than their sensitive counterparts after artemisinin exposure, notably, superoxide dismutase and the glutathione (GSH) system. These findings enrich the body of knowledges about the multifaceted mechanism of artemisinin resistance and will help in the design and development of newer antimalarials strategies active against resistant parasites. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Chinedu O Egwu, Pierre Pério, Jean-Michel Augereau, Ioannis Tsamesidis, Françoise Benoit-Vical, Karine Reybier. Resistance to artemisinin in falciparum malaria parasites: A redox-mediated phenomenon. Free radical biology & medicine. 2022 Feb 01;179:317-327

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PMID: 34416340

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