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FEBS J. 2010 Aug;277(16):3382-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07743.x. Epub 2010 Jul 12.

Pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase and bifunctional aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase are essential for energy metabolism under oxidative stress in Entamoeba histolytica.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez, México DF, México.


The in vitro Entamoeba histolytica pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (EhPFOR) kinetic properties and the effect of oxidative stress on glycolytic pathway enzymes and fluxes in live trophozoites were evaluated. EhPFOR showed a strong preference for pyruvate as substrate over other oxoacids. The enzyme was irreversibly inactivated by a long period of saturating O(2) exposure (IC(50) 0.034 mm), whereas short-term exposure (< 30 min) leading to > 90% inhibition allowed for partial restoration by addition of Fe(2+). CoA and acetyl-CoA prevented, whereas pyruvate exacerbated, inactivation induced by short-term saturating O(2) exposure. Superoxide dismutase was more effective than catalase in preventing the inactivation, indicating that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were involved. Hydrogen peroxide caused inactivation in an Fe(2+)-reversible fashion that was not prevented by the coenzymes, suggesting different mechanisms of enzyme inactivation by ROS. Structural analysis on an EhPFOR 3D model suggested that the protection against ROS provided by coenzymes could be attributable to their proximity to the Fe-S clusters. After O(2) exposure, live parasites displayed decreased enzyme activities only for PFOR (90%) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH; 68%) of the bifunctional aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenase (EhADH2), whereas acetyl-CoA synthetase remained unchanged, explaining the increased acetate and lowered ethanol fluxes. Remarkably, PFOR and ALDH activities were restored after return of the parasites to normoxic conditions, which correlated with higher ethanol and lower acetate fluxes. These results identified amebal PFOR and ALDH of EhADH2 activities as markers of oxidative stress, and outlined their relevance as significant controlling steps of energy metabolism in parasites subjected to oxidative stress.

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