Plasmodium falciparum is dependent on de novo myo-inositol biosynthesis for assembly of GPI glycolipids and infectivity.
ABSTRACT Intraerythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, are thought to be dependent on de novo synthesis of phosphatidylinositol, as red blood cells (RBC) lack the capacity to synthesize this phospholipid. The myo-inositol headgroup of PI can either be synthesized de novo or scavenged from the RBC. An untargeted metabolite profiling of P. falciparum infected RBC showed that trophozoite and schizont stages accumulate high levels of myo-inositol-3-phosphate, indicating increased de novo biosynthesis of myo-inositol from glucose-6-phosphate. Metabolic labelling studies with (13) C-U-glucose in the presence and absence of exogenous inositol confirmed that de novo myo-inositol synthesis occurs in parallel with myo-inositol salvage pathways. Unexpectedly, while both endogenous and scavenged myo-inositol was used to synthesize bulk PI, only de novo-synthesized myo-inositol was incorporated into GPI glycolipids. Moreover, gene disruption studies suggested that the INO1 gene, encoding myo-inositol 3-phosphate synthase, is essential in asexual parasite stages. Together these findings suggest that P. falciparum asexual stages are critically dependent on de novo myo-inositol biosynthesis for assembly of a sub-pool of PI species and GPI biosynthesis. These findings highlight unexpected complexity in phospholipid biosynthesis in P. falciparum and a lack of redundancy in some nutrient salvage versus endogenous biosynthesis pathways.
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ABSTRACT: Following the discovery of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate as a second messenger, many other inositol phosphates were discovered in quick succession, with some understanding of their synthesis pathways and a few guesses at their possible functions. But then it all seemed to go comparatively quiet, with an explosion of interest in the inositol lipids. Now the water-soluble phase is once again becoming a focus of interest. Old and new data point to a new vista of inositol phosphates, with functions in many diverse aspects of cell biology, such as ion-channel physiology, membrane dynamics and nuclear signalling.Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 06/2001; 2(5):327-38. · 37.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Induction of proinflammatory cytokine responses by glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum is believed to contribute to malaria pathogenesis. In this study, we purified the GPIs of P. falciparum to homogeneity and determined their structures by biochemical degradations and mass spectrometry. The parasite GPIs differ from those of the host in that they contain palmitic (major) and myristic (minor) acids at C-2 of inositol, predominantly C18:0 and C18:1 at sn-1 and sn-2, respectively, and do not contain additional phosphoethanolamine substitution in their core glycan structures. The purified parasite GPIs can induce tumor necrosis factor alpha release from macrophages. We also report a new finding that adults who have resistance to clinical malaria contain high levels of persistent anti-GPI antibodies, whereas susceptible children lack or have low levels of short-lived antibody response. Individuals who were not exposed to the malaria parasite completely lack anti-GPI antibodies. Absence of a persistent anti-GPI antibody response correlated with malaria-specific anemia and fever, suggesting that anti-GPI antibodies provide protection against clinical malaria. The antibodies are mainly directed against the acylated phosphoinositol portion of GPIs. These results are likely to be valuable in studies aimed at the evaluation of chemically defined structures for toxicity versus immunogenicity with implications for the development of GPI-based therapies or vaccines.Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2001; 192(11):1563-76. · 13.21 Impact Factor
- Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 04/2002; 120(1):151-6. · 2.73 Impact Factor