Characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase involved in FASII fatty acid utilization in the malaria parasite apicoplast

Melanie J. Shears, James I. MacRae, Vanessa Mollard, Christopher D. Goodman, Angelika Sturm, Lindsey M. Orchard, Manuel Llinas, Malcolm J. McConville, Cyrille Y. Botté, Geoffrey I. McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Malaria parasites can synthesize fatty acids via a type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway located in their apicoplast. The FASII pathway has been pursued as an anti-malarial drug target, but surprisingly little is known about its role in lipid metabolism. Here we characterize the apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase that acts immediately downstream of FASII in human (Plasmodium falciparum) and rodent (Plasmodium berghei) malaria parasites and investigate how this enzyme contributes to incorporating FASII fatty acids into precursors for membrane lipid synthesis. Apicoplast targeting of the P. falciparum and P. berghei enzymes are confirmed by fusion of the N-terminal targeting sequence to GFP and 3′ tagging of the full length protein. Activity of the P. falciparum enzyme is demonstrated by complementation in mutant bacteria, and critical residues in the putative active site identified by site-directed mutagenesis. Genetic disruption of the P. falciparum enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood stage parasites, even in conditions known to induce FASII activity. Disruption of the P. berghei enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood and mosquito stage parasites, and only essential for development in the late liver stage, consistent with the requirement for FASII in rodent malaria models. However, the P. berghei mutant liver stage phenotype is found to only partially phenocopy loss of FASII, suggesting newly made fatty acids can take multiple pathways out of the apicoplast and so giving new insight into the role of FASII and apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase in malaria parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12633
JournalCellular Microbiology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Apicoplasts
Acyltransferases
Plasmodium falciparum
Plasmodium berghei
Malaria
Parasites
Fatty Acids
Enzymes
Rodentia
Plasmodium malariae
Liver
Antimalarials
Membrane Lipids
Site-Directed Mutagenesis
Culicidae
Lipid Metabolism
Catalytic Domain
alpha-glycerophosphoric acid
Bacteria
Phenotype

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology

Cite this

Shears, Melanie J. ; MacRae, James I. ; Mollard, Vanessa ; Goodman, Christopher D. ; Sturm, Angelika ; Orchard, Lindsey M. ; Llinas, Manuel ; McConville, Malcolm J. ; Botté, Cyrille Y. ; McFadden, Geoffrey I. / Characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase involved in FASII fatty acid utilization in the malaria parasite apicoplast. In: Cellular Microbiology. 2017 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
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abstract = "Malaria parasites can synthesize fatty acids via a type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway located in their apicoplast. The FASII pathway has been pursued as an anti-malarial drug target, but surprisingly little is known about its role in lipid metabolism. Here we characterize the apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase that acts immediately downstream of FASII in human (Plasmodium falciparum) and rodent (Plasmodium berghei) malaria parasites and investigate how this enzyme contributes to incorporating FASII fatty acids into precursors for membrane lipid synthesis. Apicoplast targeting of the P. falciparum and P. berghei enzymes are confirmed by fusion of the N-terminal targeting sequence to GFP and 3′ tagging of the full length protein. Activity of the P. falciparum enzyme is demonstrated by complementation in mutant bacteria, and critical residues in the putative active site identified by site-directed mutagenesis. Genetic disruption of the P. falciparum enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood stage parasites, even in conditions known to induce FASII activity. Disruption of the P. berghei enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood and mosquito stage parasites, and only essential for development in the late liver stage, consistent with the requirement for FASII in rodent malaria models. However, the P. berghei mutant liver stage phenotype is found to only partially phenocopy loss of FASII, suggesting newly made fatty acids can take multiple pathways out of the apicoplast and so giving new insight into the role of FASII and apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase in malaria parasites.",
author = "Shears, {Melanie J.} and MacRae, {James I.} and Vanessa Mollard and Goodman, {Christopher D.} and Angelika Sturm and Orchard, {Lindsey M.} and Manuel Llinas and McConville, {Malcolm J.} and Bott{\'e}, {Cyrille Y.} and McFadden, {Geoffrey I.}",
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Characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase involved in FASII fatty acid utilization in the malaria parasite apicoplast. / Shears, Melanie J.; MacRae, James I.; Mollard, Vanessa; Goodman, Christopher D.; Sturm, Angelika; Orchard, Lindsey M.; Llinas, Manuel; McConville, Malcolm J.; Botté, Cyrille Y.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

In: Cellular Microbiology, Vol. 19, No. 1, e12633, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase involved in FASII fatty acid utilization in the malaria parasite apicoplast

AU - Shears, Melanie J.

AU - MacRae, James I.

AU - Mollard, Vanessa

AU - Goodman, Christopher D.

AU - Sturm, Angelika

AU - Orchard, Lindsey M.

AU - Llinas, Manuel

AU - McConville, Malcolm J.

AU - Botté, Cyrille Y.

AU - McFadden, Geoffrey I.

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Malaria parasites can synthesize fatty acids via a type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway located in their apicoplast. The FASII pathway has been pursued as an anti-malarial drug target, but surprisingly little is known about its role in lipid metabolism. Here we characterize the apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase that acts immediately downstream of FASII in human (Plasmodium falciparum) and rodent (Plasmodium berghei) malaria parasites and investigate how this enzyme contributes to incorporating FASII fatty acids into precursors for membrane lipid synthesis. Apicoplast targeting of the P. falciparum and P. berghei enzymes are confirmed by fusion of the N-terminal targeting sequence to GFP and 3′ tagging of the full length protein. Activity of the P. falciparum enzyme is demonstrated by complementation in mutant bacteria, and critical residues in the putative active site identified by site-directed mutagenesis. Genetic disruption of the P. falciparum enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood stage parasites, even in conditions known to induce FASII activity. Disruption of the P. berghei enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood and mosquito stage parasites, and only essential for development in the late liver stage, consistent with the requirement for FASII in rodent malaria models. However, the P. berghei mutant liver stage phenotype is found to only partially phenocopy loss of FASII, suggesting newly made fatty acids can take multiple pathways out of the apicoplast and so giving new insight into the role of FASII and apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase in malaria parasites.

AB - Malaria parasites can synthesize fatty acids via a type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway located in their apicoplast. The FASII pathway has been pursued as an anti-malarial drug target, but surprisingly little is known about its role in lipid metabolism. Here we characterize the apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase that acts immediately downstream of FASII in human (Plasmodium falciparum) and rodent (Plasmodium berghei) malaria parasites and investigate how this enzyme contributes to incorporating FASII fatty acids into precursors for membrane lipid synthesis. Apicoplast targeting of the P. falciparum and P. berghei enzymes are confirmed by fusion of the N-terminal targeting sequence to GFP and 3′ tagging of the full length protein. Activity of the P. falciparum enzyme is demonstrated by complementation in mutant bacteria, and critical residues in the putative active site identified by site-directed mutagenesis. Genetic disruption of the P. falciparum enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood stage parasites, even in conditions known to induce FASII activity. Disruption of the P. berghei enzyme demonstrates it is dispensable in blood and mosquito stage parasites, and only essential for development in the late liver stage, consistent with the requirement for FASII in rodent malaria models. However, the P. berghei mutant liver stage phenotype is found to only partially phenocopy loss of FASII, suggesting newly made fatty acids can take multiple pathways out of the apicoplast and so giving new insight into the role of FASII and apicoplast glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase in malaria parasites.

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