Cytostatic versus cytocidal activities of chloroquine analogues and inhibition of hemozoin crystal growth

Alexander P. Gorka, John N. Alumasa, Katy S. Sherlach, Lauren M. Jacobs, Katherine B. Nickley, Jonathan P. Brower, Angel C. De Dios, Paul D. Roepe

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43 Scopus citations


We report an improved, nonhazardous, high-throughput assay for in vitro quantification of antimalarial drug inhibition of β-hematin (hemozoin) crystallization performed under conditions that are more physiological relative to previous assays. The assay uses the differential detergent solubility of crystalline and noncrystalline forms of heme and is optimized via the use of lipid catalyst. Using this assay, we quantify the effect of pH on the crystal growth-inhibitory activities of current quinoline antimalarials, evaluate the catalytic efficiencies of different lipids, and test for a possible correlation between hemozoin inhibition by drugs versus their antiplasmodial activity. Consistent with several previous reports, we found a good correlation between hemozoin inhibition potency versus cytostatic antiplasmodial potency (50% inhibitory concentration) for a series of chloroquine (CQ) analogues. However, we found no correlation between hemozoin inhibition potency and cytocidal antiplasmodial potency (50% lethal dose) for the same drugs, suggesting that cellular targets for these two layers of 4-aminoquinoline drug activity differ. This important concept is also explored further for QN and its stereoisomers in the accompanying paper (A. P. Gorka, K. S. Sherlach, A. C. de Dios, and P. D. Roepe, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 57:365-374, 2013).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-364
Number of pages9
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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