Browsing Department of Biochemistry by Author "Adams, Waldo Wayne"
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- ItemGlycerol production in plasmodium falciparum : towards a detailed kinetic model(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-02-24) Adams, Waldo Wayne; Snoep, Jacky L.; Rautenbach, Marina; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Biochemistry.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Having caused the deaths of more than 10 million individuals since 2000 with most of them occurring in Africa, malaria remains a serious disease that requires undivided attention. To this end a detailed kinetic model of Plasmodium falciparum glycolysis was constructed, validated and used to determine potential drug targets for the development of novel, effective antimalarial therapies. The kinetic model described the behaviour of the glycolytic enzymes with a set of ordinary differential equations that was solved to obtain the steady state fluxes and concentrations of internal metabolites. The model included a glycerol branch represented in a single fitted equation. This present study set out to detect, characterise, and incorporate into the model the enzymes that constitute the glycerol branch of P. falciparum glycolysis. The kinetic parameters of glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH), the first enzyme in the branch and catalyst of the dihydroxyacetone phosphosate (DHAP) reducing reaction, was determined and added to the detailed kinetic model. The model was subsequently validated by comparing its prediction of steady state fluxes with experimentally measured fluxes. Once it was evident that the predictions of the unfitted model agreed with experimentally measured fluxes, metabolic control analysis was performed on this branched system to ascertain the distribution of control over the steady state flux through the glycerol branch. The control G3PDH exercised over its own flux was less than expected due to the enzyme’s sensitivity to changes in NADH and thus the redox balance of the cell. Attempts were made to detect the enzymes responsible for the conversion of glycerol 3-phosphate (G3P) to glycerol. Very low levels of glycerol kinase activity was observed. Although G3P-dependent release of inorganic phosphate was detected results were inconclusive as to whether a non-specific phosphatase also mediated the conversion. Overall, the expansion of the model to include G3PDH did not affect the steady state metabolite concentrations and flux adversely.