Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum

Renata Tonhosolo, Fabio L. D'Alexandri, Veridiana V. de Rosso, Marcos L. Gazarin, Miriam Y. Matsumura, Valnice J. Peres, Emilio F. Merino, Jane M. Carlton, Gerhard Wunderlich, Adriana Z. Mercadante, Emília A. Kimura, Alejandro M. Katzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Carotenoids are widespread lipophilic pigments synthesized by all photosynthetic organisms and some nonphotosynthetic fungi and bacteria. All carotenoids are derived from the C40 isoprenoid precursor geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, and their chemical and physical properties are associated with light absorption, free radical scavenging, and antioxidant activity. Carotenoids are generally synthesized in well defined subcellular organelles, the plastids, which are also present in the phylum Apicomplexa, which comprises a number of important human parasites, such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Recently, it was demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii synthesizes abscisic acid. We therefore asked if Plasmodium falciparum is also capable of synthesizing carotenoids. Herein, biochemical findings demonstrated the presence of carotenoid biosynthesis in the intraerythrocytic stages of the apicomplexan parasite P. falciparum. Using metabolic labeling with radioisotopes, in vitro inhibition tests with norflurazon, a specific inhibitor of plant carotenoid biosynthesis, the results showed that intraerythrocytic stages of P. falciparum synthesize carotenoid compounds. A plasmodial enzyme that presented phytoene synthase activity was also identified and characterized. These findings not only contribute to the current understanding of P. falciparum evolution but shed light on a pathway that could serve as a chemotherapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9974-9985
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume284
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 10 2009

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Biosynthesis
Carotenoids
Plasmodium falciparum
Toxoplasma
Parasites
Apicomplexa
Abscisic Acid
Plastids
Plasmodium
Scavenging
Terpenes
Fungi
Pigments
Radioisotopes
Organelles
Light absorption
Labeling
Chemical properties
Free Radicals
Bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Tonhosolo, R., D'Alexandri, F. L., de Rosso, V. V., Gazarin, M. L., Matsumura, M. Y., Peres, V. J., ... Katzin, A. M. (2009). Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(15), 9974-9985. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M807464200

Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. / Tonhosolo, Renata; D'Alexandri, Fabio L.; de Rosso, Veridiana V.; Gazarin, Marcos L.; Matsumura, Miriam Y.; Peres, Valnice J.; Merino, Emilio F.; Carlton, Jane M.; Wunderlich, Gerhard; Mercadante, Adriana Z.; Kimura, Emília A.; Katzin, Alejandro M.

In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 284, No. 15, 10.04.2009, p. 9974-9985.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tonhosolo, R, D'Alexandri, FL, de Rosso, VV, Gazarin, ML, Matsumura, MY, Peres, VJ, Merino, EF, Carlton, JM, Wunderlich, G, Mercadante, AZ, Kimura, EA & Katzin, AM 2009, 'Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum', Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 284, no. 15, pp. 9974-9985. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M807464200
Tonhosolo R, D'Alexandri FL, de Rosso VV, Gazarin ML, Matsumura MY, Peres VJ et al. Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2009 Apr 10;284(15):9974-9985. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M807464200
Tonhosolo, Renata ; D'Alexandri, Fabio L. ; de Rosso, Veridiana V. ; Gazarin, Marcos L. ; Matsumura, Miriam Y. ; Peres, Valnice J. ; Merino, Emilio F. ; Carlton, Jane M. ; Wunderlich, Gerhard ; Mercadante, Adriana Z. ; Kimura, Emília A. ; Katzin, Alejandro M. / Carotenoid biosynthesis in intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum. In: Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2009 ; Vol. 284, No. 15. pp. 9974-9985.
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