Control and regulation of the pyrophosphate-dependent glucose metabolism in Entamoeba histolytica

Emma Saavedra, Rusely Encalada, Citlali Vázquez, Alfonso Olivos-García, Paul A.M. Michels, Rafael Moreno-Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Entamoeba histolytica has neither Krebs cycle nor oxidative phosphorylation activities; therefore, glycolysis is the main pathway for ATP supply and provision of carbon skeleton precursors for the synthesis of macromolecules. Glucose is metabolized through fermentative glycolysis, producing ethanol as its main end-product as well as some acetate. Amoebal glycolysis markedly differs from the typical Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway present in human cells: (i) by the use of inorganic pyrophosphate, instead of ATP, as the high-energy phospho group
donor; (ii) with one exception, the pathway enzymes can catalyze reversible reactions under physiological conditions; (iii) there is no allosteric regulation and sigmoidal kinetic behavior of key enzymes; and (iv) the presence of some glycolytic and fermentation enzymes similar to those of anaerobic bacteria. These peculiarities bring about alternative mechanisms of control and regulation of the PPi-dependent fermentative glycolysis in the parasite in comparison to the ATP-dependent and allosterically regulated glycolysis in many other eukaryotic cells. In this review, the current knowledge of the carbohydrate metabolism enzymes in E. histolytica is analyzed. Thermodynamics and stoichiometric analyses indicate 2 to 3.5 ATP yield per glucose metabolized, instead of the often presumed 5 ATP/glucose ratio. PPi derived from anabolism seems insufficient for PPi-glycolysis; hence, alternative ways of PPi supply are also discussed. Furthermore, the underlying mechanisms of control and regulation of the E. histolytica carbohydrate metabolism, analyzed by applying integral and systemic approaches
such as Metabolic Control Analysis and kinetic modeling, contribute to unveiling alternative and promising drug targets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Glycolysis
  • pyrophosphate
  • PPi-dependent enzyme
  • Glycogen metabolism
  • Pentose Phosphate Pathway
  • chitin synthesis
  • Cysteine synthesis
  • Metabolic control analysis
  • Flux control coefficient
  • Controlling step
  • Drug target


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