Amebiasis pp 351-372 | Cite as

Glucose Metabolism and Its Controlling Mechanisms in Entamoeba histolytica

  • Erika Pineda
  • Rusely Encalada
  • Citlali Vázquez
  • Zabdi González
  • Rafael Moreno-Sánchez
  • Emma SaavedraEmail author


Entamoeba histolytica lacks the genes encoding the enzymes of the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation; therefore, glycolysis is the main pathway for ATP supply and for providing carbon skeleton precursors for the synthesis of macromolecules. External glucose is metabolized through a fermentative glycolysis producing mainly ethanol and, to a lower extent, acetate as end products. The pathway in the parasite deviates in several aspects from the typical glycolysis present in mammals and yeasts, for instance, (1) the use of pyrophosphate as high-energy phosphate donor in several reactions; (2) the feasibility of thermodynamic reversibility of all pathway reactions under physiological conditions; and (3) the presence of fermentative enzymes similar to those of anaerobic bacteria. These and other enzyme peculiarities impose different mechanisms of control of the glycolytic fermentative flux in the parasite compared to the highly allosterically regulated glycolysis in other eukaryotic cells. In this chapter, we summarize the previous and current knowledge of the carbohydrate metabolism in E. histolytica and analyze its underlying controlling mechanisms by applying the fundamentals of metabolic control analysis (MCA).


Chitin synthesis Controlling step Drug target Flux control coefficient Glycogen metabolism Glycolysis Metabolic control analysis Pentose phosphate pathway 



Research in the authors’ laboratory received financial support from CONACyT-México (grants No. 83084 and 178638 to E.S.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika Pineda
    • 1
  • Rusely Encalada
    • 1
  • Citlali Vázquez
    • 1
  • Zabdi González
    • 1
  • Rafael Moreno-Sánchez
    • 1
  • Emma Saavedra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de BioquímicaInstituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio ChávezMéxico D.F.Mexico

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