Artemisinin attack

Understanding how the artemisinin works could help in efforts to create yet more effective drugs against malaria that are less prone to resistance. Artemisinin emerged from Chinese herbal medicine as a potential treatment for malaria and has proved itself efficacious in combination therapy. It was thought to work by forming heme-derived Fe(II) and C-centered radicals through its unusual peroxide lactone group. New research, however, suggests that the redox-active artemisinin molecule interferes with redox enzymes important for the malaria parasite through its ability to undergo both one-electron transfer and two-electron reduction processes. Several flavoenzymes are thought to be possible targets for follow-up drug research.