Crystal structure of fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

Biochemistry. 1998 Mar 31;37(13):4388-96. doi: 10.1021/bi972233h.


The structure of the glycolytic enzyme class I fructose-1, 6-bisphosphate aldolase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has been determined by X-ray crystallography. Homotetrameric P. falciparum aldolase (PfALDO) crystallizes in space group P3221 with one 80 kDa dimer per asymmetric unit. The final refined PfALDO model has an R-factor of 0.239 and an R-free of 0.329 with respect to data from 8 to 3.0 A resolution. PfALDO is potentially a target for antimalarial drug design as the intraerythrocytic merozoite lifestage of P. falciparum is completely dependent upon glycolysis for its ATP production. Thus, inhibitors directed against the glycolytic enzymes in P. falciparum may be effective in killing the parasite. The structure of PfALDO is compared with the previously determined structure of human aldolase in order to determine possible targets for the structure-based design of selective PfALDO ligands. The salient structural differences include a hydrophobic pocket on the surface of PfALDO, which results from some amino acid changes and a single residue deletion compared with human aldolase, and the overall quaternary structure of the PfALDO tetramer, which buries less surface area than human aldolase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / chemistry
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Drug Design
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Fructose-Bisphosphate Aldolase / biosynthesis
  • Fructose-Bisphosphate Aldolase / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects
  • Plasmodium falciparum / enzymology*
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry


  • Antimalarials
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Fructose-Bisphosphate Aldolase

Associated data

  • PDB/1A5C