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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular cloning and characterization of a protein farnesyltransferase from the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

Genes encoding alpha- and beta-subunits of a putative protein farnesyltransferase ( FT) from the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica were obtained and their biochemical properties were characterized. Deduced amino acid sequences of the alpha- and beta-subunit of E. histolytica FT (EhFT) were 298- and 375-residues long with a molecular mass of 35.6 and 42.6 kDa, and a pI of 5.43 and 5.65, respectively. They showed 24% to 36% identity to and shared common signature domains and repeats with those from other organisms. Recombinant alpha- and beta-subunits, co-expressed in Escherichia coli, formed a heterodimer and showed activity to transfer farnesyl using farnesylpyrophosphate as a donor to human H-Ras possessing a C-terminal CVLS, but not a mutant H-Ras possessing CVLL. Among a number of small GTPases that belong to the Ras superfamily from this parasite, we identified EhRas4, which possesses CVVA at the C terminus, as a sole farnesyl acceptor for EhFT. This is in contrast to mammalian FT, which utilizes a variety of small GTPases that possess a C-terminal CaaX motif, where X is serine, methionine, glutamine, cysteine, or alanine. EhFT also showed remarkable resistance against a variety of known inhibitors of mammalian FT. These results suggest that remarkable biochemical differences in binding to substrates and inhibitors exist between amebic and mammalian FTs, which highlights this enzyme as a novel target for the development of new chemotherapeutics against amebiasis.[1]


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