Mitochondria are organelle, which is found in most eukaryotic cells, and play an important roll in production of many biosynthetic intermediates as well as energy transduction. Recently, it has been reported that mitochondria contribute to cellular stress responses such as apoptosis and autophagy. These functions of mitochondria are known to be essential for survival and maintenance of homeostasis. The mitochondria of malaria parasites are quite different from those of their vertebrate hosts. Because these differences markedly contribute to drug selectivity, we have focused on the Plasmodium mitochondrion to develop antimalarial drugs. Here we summarize recent advances in our knowledge of the mitochondria of malaria parasites and discuss future prospective antimalarial drugs targeting the parasite mitochondrion.
Part of the book: An Overview of Tropical Diseases