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Accelerated erythrocyte senescence causes dose-limiting anemia of antimalarial enolase inhibitors

By Andrew J. Jezewski, Yu-Hsi Lin, Julie A. Reisz, Rachel Culp-Hill, Yasaman Barekatain, Victoria C. Yan, Angelo D’Alessandro, Florian L Muller, Audrey R Odom John

Posted 10 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.09.331728

Glycolysis controls cellular energy, redox balance, and biosynthesis. Antiglycolytic therapies are being investigated for obesity, cancer, aging, autoimmunity, and microbial diseases. Interrupting glycolysis is highly valued as a therapeutic strategy, because glycolytic disruption is generally tolerated in mammals. Unfortunately, anemia is a key dose-limiting side effect of these inhibitors and presents a major caveat to development of antiglycolytic therapies. We developed specific inhibitors of enolase (a critical enzyme in glycolysis) and validated their metabolic and cellular effects on human erythrocytes. Enolase inhibition increases erythrocyte susceptibility to oxidative damage that induces rapid and premature erythrocyte senescence, rather than direct hemolysis. We apply our model of red cell toxicity to address questions regarding erythrocyte glycolytic disruption in the context of malaria pathogenesis. Our study provides a framework for understanding red blood cell homeostasis under normal and disease states and clarifies the importance of erythrocyte reductive capacity. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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