FIGURE 1: Artemisinin, activated by heme, effectively kills the malaria parasites by covalently targeting over 120 targets like a bomb.

Artemisinin (chemical structure shown) can effectively kill the malaria parasites. Wang et al. identified over 120 covalent protein targets of artemisinin. Many of them play important roles in different biological processes critical for the parasite survival. They also proved that artemisinin activation relies on heme, either biosynthesized by ring-stage parasites, or derived from hemoglobin digestion at later parasite stages.

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