Praziquantel: An Enigmatic, Yet Effective, Drug

David J. Timson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Praziquantel is a remarkably effective drug for the treatment of schistosomiasis. It has few side effects, some of which have been attributed to its inactive enantiomer. Few, if any, verified cases of drug resistance have been reported in a clinical setting. The preponderance of scientific evidence suggests that the drug works by dysregulating calcium homeostasis in the worm. Voltage-gated calcium channels have been proposed as the main pharmacological target of praziquantel, although no direct evidence of interaction with this protein is available. Here, the biochemical pharmacology of praziquantel is briefly reviewed and a hypothesis for its mechanism proposed. This hypothesis suggests that the drug works, in part, by disrupting an interaction between a voltage-gated calcium channel (SmCav1B) and an accessory protein, SmTAL1.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchistosoma mansoni
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsDavid J. Timson
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781071606353
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology


  • Calcium signaling
  • Neglected tropical disease
  • Schistosomiasis
  • SmTAL1
  • Voltage-gated calcium channels


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