Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Intraerythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum

Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Intraerythrocytic Stages of Plasmodium falciparum

Author Tonhosolo, Renata Google Scholar
D'Alexandri, Fabio L. Google Scholar
Rosso, Veridiana V. de Google Scholar
Gazarini, Marcos Leoni Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Matsumura, Miriam Y. Google Scholar
Peres, Valnice J. Google Scholar
Merino, Emilio F. Google Scholar
Carlton, Jane M. Google Scholar
Wunderlich, Gerhard Google Scholar
Mercadante, Adriana Z. Google Scholar
Kimura, Emilia A. Google Scholar
Katzin, Alejandro M. Google Scholar
Institution Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract Carotenoids are widespread lipophilic pigments synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and some nonphotosynthetic fungi and bacteria. All carotenoids are derived from the C40 isoprenoid precursor geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, and their chemical and physical properties are associated with light absorption, free radical scavenging, and antioxidant activity. Carotenoids are generally synthesized in well defined subcellular organelles, the plastids, which are also present in the phylum Apicomplexa, which comprises a number of important human parasites, such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Recently, it was demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii synthesizes abscisic acid. We therefore asked if Plasmodium falciparum is also capable of synthesizing carotenoids. Herein, biochemical findings demonstrated the presence of carotenoid biosynthesis in the intraerythrocytic stages of the apicomplexan parasite P. falciparum. Using metabolic labeling with radioisotopes, in vitro inhibition tests with norflurazon, a specific inhibitor of plant carotenoid biosynthesis, the results showed that intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum synthesize carotenoid compounds. A plasmodial enzyme that presented phytoene synthase activity was also identified and characterized. These findings not only contribute to the current understanding of P. falciparum evolution but shed light on a pathway that could serve as a chemotherapeutic target.
Language English
Sponsor Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
Date 2009-04-10
Published in Journal of Biological Chemistry. Bethesda: Amer Soc Biochemistry Molecular Biology Inc, v. 284, n. 15, p. 9974-9985, 2009.
ISSN 0021-9258 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Amer Soc Biochemistry Molecular Biology Inc
Extent 9974-9985
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000264892900040

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