Molecular and biochemical characterization of D-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase from Entamoeba histolytica: A unique enteric protozoan parasite that possesses both phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated serine metabolic pathways

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A putative phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH), which catalyzes the oxidation of D-phosphoglycerate to 3-phosphohydroxypyruvate in the so-called phosphorylated serine metabolic pathway, from the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica was characterized. The E. histolytica PGDH gene (EhPGDH) encodes a protein of 299 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 33.5 kDa and an isoelectric point of 8.11. EhPGDH showed high homology to PGDH from bacteroides and another enteric protozoan ciliate, Entodinium caudatum. EhPGDH lacks both the carboxyl-terminal serine binding domain and the 13–14 amino acid regions containing the conserved Trp139 (of Escherichia coli PGDH) in the nucleotide binding domain shown to be crucial for tetramerization, which are present in other organisms including higher eukaryotes. EhPGDH catalyzed reduction of phosphohydroxypyruvate to phosphoglycerate utilizing NADH and, less efficiently, NADPH; EhPGDH did not utilize 2-oxoglutarate. Kinetic parameters of EhPGDH were similar to those of mammalian PGDH, for example the preference of NADH cofactor, substrate specificities and salt-reversible substrate inhibition. In contrast to PGDH from bacteria, plants and mammals, the EhPGDH protein is present as a homodimer as demonstrated by gel filtration chromatography. The E. histolytica lysate contained PGDH activity of 26 nmol NADH utilized per min per mg of lysate protein in the reverse direction, which consisted 0.2–0.4% of a total soluble protein. Altogether, this parasite represents a unique unicellular protist that possesses both phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated serine metabolic pathways, reinforcing the biological importance of serine metabolism in this organism. Amino acid sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis of various PGDH sequences showed that E. histolytica forms a highly supported monophyletic group with another enteric protozoa, cilliate E. caudatum, and bacteroides.

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