Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 25;278(30):27612-9. Epub 2003 May 15.

Bis(glutathionyl)spermine and other novel trypanothione analogues in Trypanosoma cruzi.

Author information

  • 1Division of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Trypanosomatids differ from other cells in their ability to conjugate glutathione with the polyamine spermidine to form the antioxidant metabolite trypanothione (N1,N8-bis(glutathionyl)spermidine). In Trypanosoma cruzi, trypanothione is synthesized by an unusual trypanothione synthetase/amidase (TcTryS) that forms both glutathionylspermidine and trypanothione. Because T. cruzi is unable to synthesize putrescine and is dependent on uptake of exogenous polyamines by high affinity transporters, synthesis of trypanothione may be circumstantially limited by lack of spermidine. Here, we show that the parasite is able to circumvent the potential shortage of spermidine by conjugating glutathione with other physiological polyamine substrates from exogenous sources (spermine, N8-acetylspermidine, and N-acetylspermine). Novel thiols were purified from epimastigotes, and structures were determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight analysis to be N1,N12-bis(glutathionyl)spermine, N1-glutathionyl-N8-acetylspermidine, and N1-glutathionyl-N12-acetylspermine, respectively. Structures were confirmed by enzymatic synthesis with recombinant TcTryS, which catalyzes formation of these compounds with kinetic parameters equivalent to or better than those of spermidine. Despite containing similar amounts of spermine and spermidine, the epimastigotes, trypomastigotes, and amastigotes of T. cruzi preferentially synthesized trypanothione. Bis(glutathionyl)spermine disulfide is a physiological substrate of recombinant trypanothione reductase, comparable to trypanothione and homotrypanothione disulfides. The broad substrate specificity of TcTryS could be exploited in the design of polyamine-based inhibitors of trypanothione metabolism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources


PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center