Aspartate Aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.80 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.292 
  • R-Value Work: 0.214 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.218 

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Specific Inhibition of the Aspartate Aminotransferase of Plasmodium falciparum.

Wrenger, C.Muller, I.B.Schifferdecker, A.J.Jain, R.Jordanova, R.Groves, M.R.

(2011) J Mol Biol 405: 956-971

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2010.11.018
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Aspartate aminotransferases (AspATs; EC catalyze the conversion of aspartate and α-ketoglutarate into oxaloacetate and glutamate and are key enzymes in the nitrogen metabolism of all organisms. Recent findings suggest that the plasmodial enzyme [Plasmodium falciparum aspartate aminotransferase (PfAspAT)] may also play a pivotal role in energy metabolism and in the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidines. However, while PfAspAT is a potential drug target, the high homology between the active sites of currently available AspAT structures hinders the development of specific inhibitors of these enzymes. In this article, we report the X-ray structure of the PfAspAT homodimer at a resolution of 2.8 Å. While the overall fold is similar to the currently available structures of other AspATs, the structure presented shows a significant divergence in the conformation of the N-terminal residues. Deletion of these divergent PfAspAT N-terminal residues results in a loss of activity for the recombinant protein, and addition of a peptide containing these 13 N-terminal residues results in inhibition both in vitro and in a lysate isolated from cultured parasites, while the activity of human cytosolic AspAT is unaffected. The finding that the divergent N-terminal amino acids of PfAspAT play a role in catalytic activity indicates that specific inhibition of the enzyme may provide a lead for the development of novel compounds in the treatment of malaria. We also report on the localization of PfAspAT to the parasite cytosol and discuss the implications of the role of PfAspAT in the supply of malate to the parasite mitochondria.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Biochemistry, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Bernhard Nocht Strasse 74, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Aspartate aminotransferase405Plasmodium falciparum 3D7Mutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: PFB0200cPF3D7_0204500
Find proteins for O96142 (Plasmodium falciparum (isolate 3D7))
Explore O96142 
Go to UniProtKB:  O96142
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupO96142
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Ligands 2 Unique
IDChains Name / Formula / InChI Key2D Diagram3D Interactions
Query on PLP

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
C8 H10 N O6 P
Query on ACT

Download Ideal Coordinates CCD File 
C2 H3 O2
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.80 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.292 
  • R-Value Work: 0.214 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.218 
  • Space Group: H 3 2
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 100.838α = 90
b = 100.838β = 90
c = 240.367γ = 120
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
DNAdata collection
XDSdata reduction
SCALAdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2010-10-13
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2011-07-13
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.2: 2023-09-06
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Derived calculations, Refinement description