Cloning and characterization of the two enzymes responsible for trypanothione biosynthesis in Crithidia fasciculata

Emmanuel Tetaud, Faouzi Manai, Michael P. Barrett, Kari Nadeau, Christopher T. Walsh, Alan H. Fairlamb (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Protozoa of the order Kinetoplastida differ from other organisms in their ability to conjugate glutathione (γ-Glu-Cys-Gly) and spermidine to form trypanothione (N1,N8-bis(glutathionyl)spermidine), which is involved in maintaining intracellular thiol redox and in defense against oxidants. In this study, the genes from Crithidia fasciculata, Cf-GSS and Cf-TRS, which encode, respectively, glutathionylspermidine synthetase (EC 6.3.1.8) and trypanothione synthetase (EC 6.3.1.9) have been cloned and expressed. The deduced amino acid sequence of both Cf-GSS and Cf-TRS share 50% sequence similarity with the Escherichia coli glutathionylspermidine synthetase/amidase. Both genes are present as single copies in the C. fasciculata genome. When expressed in E. coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, neither protein was present in an active soluble form. However, thiol analysis of S. cerevisiae demonstrated that cells transformed with the Cf- GSS gene contained substantial amounts of glutathionylspermidine, whereas cells expressing both the Cf-GSS and Cf-TRS genes contained glutathionylspermidine and trypanothione, confirming that these genes encode the functional glutathionylspermidine and trypanothione synthetases from C. fasciculata. The translation products of Cf-GSS and Cf-TRS show significant homology to the amidase domain present in E. coli glutathionylspermidine synthetase, which can catalyze both synthesis and degradation of glutathionylspermidine. Glutathionylspermidine synthetase isolated from C. fasciculata was found to possess a similar amidase activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19383-19390
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
    Volume273
    Issue number31
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 1998

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology

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