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FEBS Lett. 1999 Oct 29;460(2):217-20.

A plant-like vacuolar H(+)-pyrophosphatase in Plasmodium falciparum.

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Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001 S. Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, IL, USA.


Inorganic pyrophosphate promoted the acidification of a subcellular compartment in cell homogenates of Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites. The proton gradient driven by pyrophosphate was collapsed by addition of NH(4)Cl or the K(+)/H(+) exchanger nigericin and eliminated by the pyrophosphate analog aminomethylenediphosphonate. Pyrophosphatase activity was dependent upon K(+), and partially inhibited by Na(+). The presence of a plant-like vacuolar H(+)-translocating pyrophosphatase (V-H(+)-PPase) was confirmed using antibodies raised against conserved peptide sequences of the enzyme, which cross reacted with a protein band of 76.5 kDa. Immunofluorescence microscopy using these antibodies showed a general fluorescence over the whole parasites and intracellular bright spots suggesting a vesicular and plasma membrane localization. Together, these results indicate the presence in P. falciparum of a V-H(+)-PPase of similar characteristics to those of the enzyme from plants.

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