High-dose Vitamin B12 has antimalarial properties. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Naturally occurring cobalamins have antimalarial activity.
J Inorg Biochem. 2007 May;101(5):764-73. Epub 2007 Jan 31. PMID: 17343914
Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. email@example.com
The acquisition of resistance by malaria parasites towards existing antimalarials has necessitated the development of new chemotherapeutic agents. The effect of vitamin B(12) derivatives on the formation of beta-haematin (synthetic haemozoin) was determined under conditions similar to those in the parasitic food vacuole (using chloroquine, a known inhibitor of haemozoin formation for comparison). Adenosylcobalamin (Ado-cbl), methylcobalamin (CH(3)-cbl) and aquocobalamin (H(2)O-cbl) were approximately forty times more effective inhibitors of beta-haematin formation than chloroquine, cyanocobalamin (CN-cbl) was slightly more inhibitory than chloroquine, while dicyanocobinamide had no effect. It is proposed that the cobalamins exert their inhibitory effect on beta-haematin formation by pi-interactions of their corrin ring with the Fe(III)-protoporphyrin ring and by hydrogen-bonding using their 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole/ribose/sugar side-chain. The antimalarial activity for the cobalamins (Ado-cbl>CH(3)-cbl>H(2)O-cbl>CN-cbl) was found to be less than that for chloroquine or quinine. Ado-cbl, CH(3)-cbl and CN-cbl do not accumulate in the parasite food vacuole by pH trapping, but H(2)O-cbl does. Unlike humans, the malaria parasite has only one enzyme that uses cobalamin as a cofactor, namely methionine synthase, which is important for growth and metabolism. Thus cobalamins in very small amounts are necessary for Plasmodium falciparum growth but in larger amounts they display antimalarial properties.