Wenhua Lu, Cheng Lu, Qian Zhang, Shinuo Cao, Zhaoxia Zhang, Honglin Jia & Jun Zheng
Parasitol Res. 2019 Dec 13. doi: 10.1007/s00436-019-06512-6. [Epub ahead of print]
Aminopeptidase N is an important metalloenzyme from the M1 zinc metallopeptidase family, which is present in numerous apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Eimeria, and Cryptosporidium. Aminopeptidase N is a potential drug target, and hence, its properties have been widely investigated. In the current study, the cellular localization and enzyme characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii aminopeptidase N3 (TgAPN3) were evaluated in vitro. Cellular localization analysis revealed that TgAPN3 and GRA protein were co-located in the organelle and parasitophorous vacuole of T. gondii. The secretion assay showed that TgAPN3 could be co-secreted from the tachyzoites with GRA protein. A functional recombinant Toxoplasma aminopeptidase N3 (rTgAPN3) was produced in Escherichia coli. The enzyme activity was first determined using a fluorogenic H-Ala-MCA substrate. Some activity of rTgAPN3 was observed between pH 3.0 and 8.0, with a peak at pH 7.0. The activity was significantly enhanced in the presence of Co2+ ions. Substrate specificity of rTgAPN3 was then evaluated. The enzyme showed a preference for substrates containing N-terminal Ala residues, followed by Tyr and Cys. The rTgAPN3 activity was significantly inhibited by bestatin and phebestatin. In general, TgAPN3 was a structurally conserved member of the M1 family, although it also displayed unique biochemical characteristics. These results lay the foundation for a functional study of TgAPN3 and constitute its putative identification as a drug target.
Activity; Aminopeptidase N (APN); Enzyme; Localization; Toxoplasma gondii