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Myristoyl-CoA : protein N-myristoyltransferase, an essential enzyme and potential drug target in kinetoplastid parasites

Price, H.P., Menon, M.R., Panethymitaki, C., Goulding, D., McKean, P.G. and Smith, D.F. (2002) Myristoyl-CoA : protein N-myristoyltransferase, an essential enzyme and potential drug target in kinetoplastid parasites. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278 (9). pp. 7206-7214. ISSN 0021-9258

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Abstract

Co-translational modification of eukaryotic proteins by N-myristoylation aids subcellular targeting and protein-protein interactions. The enzyme that catalyzes this process, N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), has been characterized in the kinetoplastid protozoan parasites, Leishmania and Trypanosoma brucei. In Leishmania major, the single copy NMT gene is constitutively expressed in all parasite stages as a 48.5-kDa protein that localizes to both membrane and cytoplasmic fractions. Leishmania NMT myristoylates the target acylated Leishmania protein, HASPA, when both are co-expressed in Escherichia coli. Gene targeting experiments have shown that NMT activity is essential for viability in Leishmania. In addition, overexpression of NMT causes gross changes in parasite morphology, including the subcellular accumulation of lipids, leading to cell death. This phenotype is more extreme than that observed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in which overexpression of NMT activity has no obvious effects on growth kinetics or cell morphology. RNA interference assays in T. brucei have confirmed that NMT is also an essential protein in both life cycle stages of this second kinetoplastid species, suggesting that this enzyme may be an appropriate target for the development of anti-parasitic agents.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2009 15:11
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2009 15:11
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M211391200
Status: Published
Publisher: The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identification Number: 10.1074/jbc.M211391200
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6575

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