We have successfully truncated and recombinantly-expressed 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXS) from both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. We elucidated the order of substrate binding for both of these ThDP-dependent enzymes using steady-state kinetic analyses, dead-end inhibition, and intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence titrations. Both enzymes adhere to a random sequential mechanism with respect to binding of both substrates: pyruvate and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. These findings are in contrast to other ThDP-dependent enzymes, which exhibit classical ordered and/or ping-pong kinetic mechanisms. A better understanding of the kinetic mechanism for these two Plasmodial enzymes could aid in the development of novel DXS-specific inhibitors that might prove useful in treatment of malaria.
Keywords: 1-Deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase; Isoprenoids; Malaria; Methylerythritol phosphate pathway; Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax.
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