Schistosoma mansoni arginase shares functional similarities with human orthologs but depends upon disulphide bridges for enzymatic activity

Jennifer M. Fitzpatrick, Jose M. Fuentes, Iain W. Chalmers, Thomas A. Wynn, Manuel Modolell, Karl F. Hoffmann, Matthias Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Schistosome helminths constitute a major health risk for the human population in many tropical areas. We demonstrate for the first time that several developmental stages of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni express arginase, which is responsible for the hydrolysis of l-arginine to l-ornithine and urea. Arginase activity by alternatively activated macrophages is an essential component of the mammalian host response in schistosomiasis. However, it has not been previously shown that the parasite also expresses arginase when it is in contact with the mammalian host. After cloning and sequencing the cDNA encoding the parasite enzyme, we found that many structural features of human arginase are well conserved in the parasite ortholog. Subsequently, we discovered that S. mansoni arginase shares many similar molecular, biochemical and functional properties with both human arginase isoforms. Nevertheless, our data also reveal striking differences between human and schistosome arginase. Particularly, we found evidence that schistosome arginase activity depends upon disulphide bonds by cysteines, in contrast to human arginase. In conclusion, we report that S. mansoni arginase is well adapted to the physiological conditions that exist in the human host.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Volume39
Issue number3
Early online date06 Aug 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Helminth
  • Metabolism
  • Enzyme
  • Evolution
  • Adaptation
  • Urea
  • Trematode
  • Drug target

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