A novel phospholipase from Trypanosoma brucei

Gregory S. Richmond, Terry K. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Phospholipase A(1) activities have been detected in most cells where they have been sought and yet their characterization lags far behind that of the phospholipases A(2), C and D. The study presented here details the first cloning and characterization of a cytosolic PLA(1) that exhibits preference for phosphatidylcholine (GPCho) substrates. Trypanosoma brucei phospholipase A(1) (TbPLA(1)) is unique from previously identified eukaryotic PLA(1) because it is evolutionarily related to bacterial secreted PLA(1). A T. brucei ancestor most likely acquired the PLA(1) from a horizontal gene transfer of a PLA(1) from Sodalis glossinidius, a bacterial endosymbiont of tsetse flies. Nano-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry analysis of TbPLA(1) mutants established that the enzyme functions in vivo to synthesize lysoGPCho metabolites containing long-chain mostly polyunsaturated and highly unsaturated fatty acids. Analysis of purified mutated recombinant forms of TbPLA(1) revealed that this enzyme is a serine hydrolase whose catalytic mechanism involves a triad consisting of the amino acid residues Ser-131, His-234 and Asp-183. The TbPLA(1) homozygous null mutants generated here constitute the only PLA(1) double knockouts from any organism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1078-95
    Number of pages18
    JournalMolecular Microbiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


    • Amino Acid Sequence
    • Animals
    • Base Sequence
    • Catalytic Domain
    • Cloning, Molecular
    • Cytosol
    • Evolution, Molecular
    • Hydrolysis
    • Lysophosphatidylcholines
    • Molecular Sequence Data
    • Mutation
    • Phosphatidylcholines
    • Phospholipases A
    • Phylogeny
    • Recombinant Proteins
    • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
    • Substrate Specificity
    • Trypanosoma brucei brucei


    Dive into the research topics of 'A novel phospholipase from Trypanosoma brucei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this