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Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2010 Apr 1;66(Pt 4):409-12. doi: 10.1107/S1744309110003933. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the aspartate aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory Hamburg Outstation, Notkestrasse 85, D-22603 Hamburg, Germany.


Aspartate aminotransferases (EC catalyse the conversion of aspartate and alpha-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and glutamate in a reversible manner. Thus, the aspartate aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum (PfAspAT) plays a central role in the transamination of amino acids. Recent findings suggest that PfAspAT may also play a pivotal role in energy metabolism and the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines. While therapeutics based upon the inhibition of other proteins in these pathways are already used in the treatment of malaria, the advent of multidrug-resistant strains has limited their efficacy. The presence of PfAspAT in these pathways may offer additional opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the function and role of PfAspAT, it has been expressed and purified to homogeneity. The successful crystallization of PfAspAT, the collection of a 2.8 A diffraction data set and initial attempts to solve the structure using molecular replacement are reported.

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