Plastid Isoprenoid Metabolism in the Oyster Parasite Perkinsus marinus Connects Dinoflagellates and Malaria Pathogens—New Impetus for Studying Alveolates
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The capacity for isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) synthesis, the common precursor of isoprenoids, is universally distributed among photosynthetic and heterotrophic eukaryotes (Lange et al. 2000; this study). Land plants harbor two unrelated metabolic routes with specific substrates, intermediates, and sets of enzymes (Grauvogel and Petersen 2007). The cytosolic mevalonate-dependent MVA pathway, which is also present in metazoa and fungi, has been known since the 1960s (Katsuki and Bloch 1967; Lynen 1967), whereas the plastidial MEP (2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate) pathway was discovered just 10 years ago (Rohmer et al. 1993; Lichtenthaler et al. 1997). Plastid IPP generation was inherited from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont and subsequently spread to complex algae and Apicomplexa (e.g., Plasmodium falciparum) via eukaryote-to-eukaryote endosymbioses (Delwiche 1999). The “raison d’être” for plastids in heterotrophic parasites is their indispensable metabolic capacity, and the...
KeywordsFosmidomycin Isopentenyl Pyrophosphate Secondary Endosymbiosis Endosymbiotic Gene Transfer Isoprenoid Metabolism
We thank Ulrike Brandt (Braunschweig) for excellent technical assistance, René Teich for practical assistance, and William Martin (Düsseldorf) for helpful comments on the manuscript. Preliminary sequence data of Perkinsus marinus were obtained from The Institute for Genomic Research through the Web site at http://www.tigr.org, and sequencing was accomplished with support from the National Science Foundation. Major financial support, including a Ph.D. stipend for C.G., was received from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (CE 1/27-2). This is VIMS contribution number 2871. The authors also want to thank two anonymous reviewers for careful reading and constructive criticism of the manuscript.
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