Structural Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum Hexokinase Provides Novel Information about Catalysis Due to a Plasmodium-Specific Insertion
The protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum is the causative pathogen of the most severe form of malaria, for which novel strategies for treatment are urgently required. The primary energy supply for intraerythrocytic stages of Plasmodium is the production of ATP via glycolysis. Due to the parasite’s strong dependence on this pathway and the ... significant structural differences of its glycolytic enzymes compared to its human counterpart, glycolysis is considered a potential drug target. In this study, we provide the first three-dimensional protein structure of P. falciparum hexokinase (PfHK) containing novel information about the mechanisms of PfHK. We identified for the first time a Plasmodium-specific insertion that lines the active site. Moreover, we propose that this insertion plays a role in ATP binding. Residues of the insertion further seem to affect the tetrameric interface and therefore suggest a special way of communication among the different monomers. In addition, we confirmed that PfHK is targeted and affected by oxidative posttranslational modifications (oxPTMs). Both S-glutathionylation and S-nitrosation revealed an inhibitory effect on the enzymatic activity of PfHK.
International journal of molecular sciences 24 (2023), 1-20, 12739