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Functional and molecular characterization of a glycosomal PPi-dependent enzyme in trypanosomatids: Pyruvate, phosphate dikinase

  • Frederic Bringaud
  • Dominique Baltz
  • Theo Baltz
The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Jul 07, 1998
  • Biology


Trypanosomatids are parasitic protists that have an ATP-dependent glycolysis with no indication of PPi-dependent metabolism. Most of the glycolysis takes place in peroxisome-like organelles, the glycosomes. We characterized in Trypanosoma brucei a single-copy gene encoding a PPi-dependent enzyme, pyruvate, phosphate dikinase (PPDK), which was expressed functionally in Escherichia coli. Specific antibodies detected a 100-kDa protein in procyclic forms but not in mammalian forms of T. brucei, indicating a differential expression. Glycosomal localization of PPDK was determined by immunofluorescence analysis and was confirmed by Western blot analysis on glycosomal fractions by using anti-PPDK antibodies. Expression and localization of recombinant PPDKs in procyclic forms of T. brucei showed that the AKL motif at the C-terminal extremity of PPDK is necessary for glycosomal targeting. PPDK was detected in every trypanosomatid tested—Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma vivax, Trypanosoma cruzi, Phytomonas, Crithidia and Leishmania—with a good correlation between amount of protein and enzymatic activity. The precise role of PPDK in trypanosomatid carbohydrate metabolism remains to be clarified.

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