Plasmodium falciparum is dependent on de novo myo‐inositol biosynthesis for assembly of GPI glycolipids and infectivity
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.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycerophospholipids are the principal fabric of cellular membranes. The pathways by which these lipids are synthesized were elucidated mainly through the work of Kennedy and colleagues in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Subsequently, attention turned to cell biological aspects of lipids: Where in the cell are lipids synthesized? How are lipids integrated into membranes to form a bilayer? How are they sorted and transported from their site of synthesis to other cellular destinations? These topics, collectively termed ‘lipid topogenesis’, were the subject of a review article in 1981 by Bell, Ballas and Coleman. We now assess what has been learned about early events of lipid topogenesis, i.e. “lipid synthesis, the integration of lipids into membranes, and lipid translocation across membranes”, in the 35 years since the publication of this important review. We highlight the recent elucidation of the X-ray structures of key membrane enzymes of glycerophospholipid synthesis, progress on identifying lipid scramblase proteins needed to equilibrate lipids across membranes, and new complexities in the subcellular location and membrane topology of phosphatidylinositol synthesis revealed through a comparison of two unicellular model eukaryotes.
- "The recent identification of the T. brucei TbHMIT in the Golgi [92,93] may explain these early findings. In addition, the dependence of GPI synthesis from de novo synthesized but not imported myo-inositol has recently also been observed in Plasmodium parasites . Further evidence that the topology of yeast Pis1 is different from that of its trypanosome homolog can be deduced from "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detoxification of hemoglobin byproducts or free heme is an essential step and considered potential targets for anti-malaria drug development. However, most of anti-malaria drugs are no longer effective due to the emergence and spread of the drug resistant malaria parasites. Therefore, it is an urgent need to identify potential new targets and even for target combinations for effective malaria drug design. In this work, we reconstructed the metabolic networks of Plasmodium falciparum and human red blood cells for the simulation of steady mass and flux flows of the parasite's metabolites under the blood environment by flux balance analysis (FBA). The integrated model, namely iPF-RBC-713, was then adjusted into two stage-specific metabolic models, which first was for the pathological stage metabolic model of the parasite when invaded the red blood cell without any treatment and second was for the treatment stage of the parasite when a drug acted by inhibiting the hemozoin formation and caused high production rate of heme toxicity. The process of identifying target combinations consisted of two main steps. Firstly, the optimal fluxes of reactions in both the pathological and treatment stages were computed and compared to determine the change of fluxes. Corresponding enzymes of the reactions with zero fluxes in the treatment stage but non-zero fluxes in the pathological stage were predicted as a preliminary list of potential targets in inhibiting heme detoxification. Secondly, the combinations of all possible targets listed in the first step were examined to search for the best promising target combinations resulting in more effective inhibition of the detoxification to kill the malaria parasites. Finally, twenty-three enzymes were identified as a preliminary list of candidate targets which mostly were in pyruvate metabolism and citrate cycle. The optimal set of multiple targets for blocking the detoxification was a set of heme ligase, adenosine transporter, myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase, ferrodoxim reductase-like protein and guanine transporter. In conclusion, the method has shown an effective and efficient way to identify target combinations which are obviously useful in the development of novel antimalarial drug combinations.
- "Myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase is one of the enzymes in the myo-inositol group to synthesize phospholipid from red blood cell. Recently, a study showed that P. falciparum asexual stages are critically dependent on de novo myo-inositol biosynthesis (Macrae et al., 2014 ). No any inhibitor has been studied for ferrodoxim reductase-like protein. "
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During its life cycle, Plasmodium falciparum undergoes rapid proliferation fueled by de novo synthesis and acquisition of host cell lipids. Consistent with this essential role, Plasmodium lipid synthesis enzymes are emerging as potential drug targets. To explore their broader potential for therapeutic interventions, we assayed the global lipid landscape during P. falciparum sexual and asexual blood stage (ABS) development. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we analyzed 304 lipids constituting 24 classes in ABS parasites, infected red blood cell (RBC)-derived microvesicles, gametocytes, and uninfected RBCs. Ten lipid classes were previously uncharacterized in P. falciparum, and 70%-75% of the lipid classes exhibited changes in abundance during ABS and gametocyte development. Utilizing compounds that target lipid metabolism, we affirmed the essentiality of major classes, including triacylglycerols. These studies highlight the interplay between host and parasite lipid metabolism and provide a comprehensive analysis of P. falciparum lipids with candidate pathways for drug discovery efforts.
- "The second major class of lipids observed was sphingolipids, which possess a sphingosine backbone linked to FAs via amide bonds and play critical roles in both membrane structure and signaling (Gault et al., 2010). Sphingomyelin (SM), a structural sphingolipid that aids the biogenesis and maintenance of the tubulovesicular network of membranes (Lauer et al., 1997), was the third most abundant lipid overall, consistent with other studies (Botté et al., 2013; Macrae et al., 2014) (Figure 1). Like other structural lipids, SM levels remained relatively static throughout the IDC (Figure 1). "