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Functional and phylogenetic evidence of a bacterial origin for the first enzyme in sphingolipid biosynthesis in a phylum of eukaryotic protozoan parasites.

Mina, John and Thye, Julie and Alqaisi, Amjed and Bird, Louise and Dods, Robert and Groftehauge, Morten and Mosely, Jackie and Pratt, Steven and Shams-Eldin, Hosam and Schwarz, Ralph and Pohl, Ehmke and Denny, Paul W. (2017) 'Functional and phylogenetic evidence of a bacterial origin for the first enzyme in sphingolipid biosynthesis in a phylum of eukaryotic protozoan parasites.', Journal of biological chemistry., 292 (29). pp. 12208-12219.

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate, intracellular eukaryotic apicomplexan protozoan parasite that can cause fetal damage and abortion in both animals and humans. Sphingolipids are essential and ubiquitous components of eukaryotic membranes that are both synthesized and scavenged by the Apicomplexa. Here we report the identification, isolation and analyses of the Toxoplasma serine palmitoyltransferase, an enzyme catalyzing the first and rate-limiting step in sphingolipid biosynthesis - the condensation of serine and palmitoyl-CoA. In all eukaryotes analyzed to date, serine palmitoyltransferase is a highly conserved heterodimeric enzyme complex. However, biochemical and structural analyses demonstrated the apicomplexan orthologue to be a functional, homodimeric serine palmitoyltransferase localized to the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, phylogenetic studies indicated that it was evolutionarily related to the prokaryotic serine palmitoyltransferase, identified in the Sphingomonadaceae as a soluble homodimeric enzyme. Therefore this enzyme, conserved throughout the Apicomplexa, is likely to have been obtained via lateral gene transfer from a prokaryote. Importantly, the structural and evolutionary divergence of the apicomplexan serine palmitoyltransferase suggests that it might have significant potential as a drug target.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M117.792374
Publisher statement:This article is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.
Date accepted:02 June 2017
Date deposited:11 July 2017
Date of first online publication:02 June 2017
Date first made open access:02 June 2018

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