Fatty acid synthesis in African trypanosomes: A solution to the myristate mystery

Kimberly S. Paul, David Jiang, Yasu S. Morita, Paul T. Englund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The glycosyl phosphatidylinositol anchor of the trypanosome variant surface glycoprotein contains myristate as its sole fatty acid component. Surprisingly, there does not appear to be enough myristate in either the parasite or its host's bloodstream to sustain myristoylation of the enormous quantity of variant surface glycoprotein produced. Here, we discuss how the trypanosome solves its myristate dilemma. The parasite not only efficiently salvages and processes myristate from the bloodstream, but it also makes myristate de novo using a recently discovered specialized fatty acid synthesis system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in parasitology
Volume17
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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