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Identification, subcellular localization, biochemical properties, and high-resolution crystal structure of Trypanosoma brucei UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase

Identification, subcellular localization, biochemical properties, and high-resolution crystal structure of Trypanosoma brucei UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase

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Authors

  • Karina Marino
  • Maria Lucia Sampaio Guther
  • Amy K. Wernimont
  • Mernhaz Amani
  • Raymond Hui
  • Michael A. J. Ferguson

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Info

Original languageEnglish
Pages1619-1630
Number of pages12
JournalGlycobiology
Journal publication dateDec 2010
Journal number12
Volume20
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of the cattle disease Nagana and human African sleeping sickness. Glycoproteins play key roles in the parasite's survival and infectivity, and the de novo biosyntheses of the sugar nucleotides UDP-galactose (UDP-Gal), UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, and GDP-fucose have been shown to be essential for their growth. The only route to UDP-Gal in T. brucei is through the epimerization of UDP-glucose (UDP-Glc) by UDP-Glc 4'-epimerase. UDP-Glc is also the glucosyl donor for the unfolded glycoprotein glucosyltransferase (UGGT) involved in glycoprotein quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum and is the presumed donor for the synthesis of base J (beta-D-glucosylhydroxymethyluracil), a rare deoxynucleotide found in telomereproximal DNA in the bloodstream form of T. brucei. Considering that UDP-Glc plays such a central role in carbohydrate metabolism, we decided to characterize UDP-Glc biosynthesis in T. brucei. We identified and characterized the parasite UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (TbUGP), responsible for the formation of UDP-Glc from glucose-1-phosphate and UTP, and localized the enzyme to the peroxisome-like glycosome organelles of the parasite. Recombinant TbUGP was shown to be enzymatically active and specific for glucose-1-phosphate. The high-resolution crystal structure was also solved, providing a framework for the design of potential inhibitors against the parasite enzyme.

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