Biosynthesis of Trypanothione in Trypanosoma brucei brucei

M. Comini, U. Menge,  and L. Flohé


Trypanothione [T(SH)2], the major redox mediator in pathogenic trypanosomatids, is synthetized stepwise by two distinct enzymes in Crithidia fasciculata, while in Trypanosoma cruzi a single enzyme catalyzes both steps. A fulllength reading frame presumed to encode trypanothione synthetase (TryS) was obtained by PCR using DNA of T. brucei as template and primers based on fragments of putative TryS genes. The recombinant protein produced by E. coli Origami (DE3) was purified to homogeneity by chelate and ion exchange chromatography. The enzyme catalyzed both reactions of T(SH)2 biosynthesis. Thus, T(SH)2 synthesis appears to be similar in African (T. brucei) and New World (T. cruzi) trypanosomes but distinct from that of Crithidia.

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Biological Chemistry keeps you up-to-date with the latest advances in the molecular life sciences. The journal publishes Research Articles, Short Communications, Reviews and Minireviews. Areas include: general biochemistry/pathobiochemistry, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, genetics and epigenetics, virology, molecular medicine, plant molecular biology/biochemistry and novel experimental methodologies.