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Springer, Journal of Molecular Evolution, 4(40), p. 443-454, 1995

DOI: 10.1007/bf00164030



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Molecular analysis of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in Trypanoplasma borelli: an evolutionary scenario of subcellular compartmentation in kinetoplastida.

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In Trypanoplasma borelli, a representative of the Bodonina within the Kinetoplastida, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) activity was detected in both the cytosol and glycosomes. This situation is similar to that previously found in Trypanosomatidae, belonging to a different Kinetoplastida suborder. In Trypanosomatidae different isoenzymes, only distantly related, are responsible for the activity in the two cell compartments. In contrast, immunoblot analysis indicated that the GAPDH activity in cytosol and glycosomes of T. borelli should be attributed to identical or at least very similar proteins related to the glycosomal GAPDH of Trypanosomatidae. Moreover, only genes related to the glycosomal GAPDH genes of Trypanosomatidae could be detected. All attempts to identify a gene related to the one coding for the trypanosomatid cytosolic GAPDH remained unsuccessful. Two tandemly arranged genes were found which are 95% identical. The two encoded polypeptides differ in 17 residues. Their sequences are 72-77% identical to the glycosomal GAPDH of the other Kinetoplastida and share with them some characteristic features: an excess of positively charged residues, specific insertions, and a small carboxy-terminal extension containing the sequence -AKL. This tripeptide conforms to the consensus signal for targeting of proteins to glycosomes. One of the two gene copies has undergone some mutations at positions coding for highly conserved residues of the active site and the NAD(+)-binding domain of GAPDH. Modeling of the protein's three-dimensional structure suggested that several of the substitutions compensate each other, retaining the functional coenzyme-binding capacity, although this binding may be less tight. The presented analysis of GAPDH in T. borelli gives further support to the assertion that one isoenzyme, the cytosolic one, was acquired by horizontal gene transfer during the evolution of the Kinetoplastida, in the lineage leading to the suborder Trypanosomatina (Trypanosoma, Leishmania), after the divergence from the Bodonina (Trypanoplasma). Furthermore, the data clearly suggest that the original GAPDH of the Kinetoplastida has been compartmentalized during evolution.