Characterization of chloroquine-hematin μ-oxo dimer binding by isothermal titration calorimetry

Sudha Rani Vippagunta, Arnulf Dorn, Robert G. Ridley, Jonathan L. Vennerstrom

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43 Scopus citations


Numerous studies indicate that a key feature of chloroquine's (CQ) antimalarial activity is its interaction with hematin. We now characterize this CQ-hematin interaction in detail using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Between pH 5.6 and 9.0, association constants (K(a) values) for enthalpy-driven CQ-hematin μ-oxo dimer binding fell in the narrow range of 2.3-4.4 x 105 M-1. It is therefore probable that CQ-hematin μ-oxo dimer binding affinity does not diminish at the pH range (4.8-5.4) of the parasite food vacuole. The binding affinity was unaffected by high salt concentrations, suggesting that ionic interactions do not contribute significantly to this complexation. With increasing ionic strength, the entropic penalty of CQ-hematin μ-oxo dimer binding decreased accompanied by increased hematin μ-oxo dimer aggregation. A stoichiometry (n) of 1:4 in the pH range 6.5-9.0 indicates that CQ binds to two hematin μ-oxo dimers. At pH 5.6, a stoichiometry of 1:8 suggests that CQ binds to an aggregate of four hematin μ-oxo dimers. This work adds further evidence supporting the hypothesis that CQ impedes hematin monomer incorporation into hemozoin by producing a forward shift in the hematin monomer-hematin μ-oxo dimer equilibrium, contributing to a destructive accumulation of soluble forms of hematin in the parasite and leading to its death by hematin poisoning. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 3 2000


  • Association constant
  • Chloroquine
  • Hematin
  • Hematin μ-oxo dimer
  • Isothermal titration calorimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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