As an efficient drug for alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is still not available, new chemotherapy targets are necessary. The mitochondrial respiratory chain may be a good drug candidate because parasite respiratory chains are quite different from those of mammalian hosts. For example, Ascaris suum possesses an NADH‐fumarate reductase system (fumarate respiration) that is highly adapted to anaerobic environments such as the small intestine. It is composed of mitochondrial complex I (NADH‐ubiquinone reductase), complex II (succinate‐ubiquinone reductase), and rhodoquinone. We previously demonstrated that fumarate respiration is also essential in E. multilocularis. Quinazoline, a complex I inhibitor, inhibited growth of E. multilocularis larvae in vitro. These results indicate that fumarate respiration could be a target for E. multilocularis therapy. In the current chapter, we focused on complex II, which is another component of this system, because quinazoline exhibited strong toxicity to mammalian mitochondria. We evaluated the molecular and biochemical characterization of E. multilocularis complex II as a potential drug target. In addition, we found that ascofuranone, a trypanosome cyanide‐insensitive alternative oxidase inhibitor, inhibited E. multilocularis complex II at the nanomolar order. Our findings demonstrate the potential development of targeted therapy against Echinococcus complex II.
Part of the book: Echinococcosis