Uptake and metabolism of arginine impact Plasmodium development in the liver

Abstract : Prior to infecting erythrocytes and causing malaria symptoms, Plasmodium parasites undergo an obligatory phase of invasion and extensive replication inside their mammalian host's liver cells that depends on the parasite's ability to obtain the nutrients it requires for its intra-hepatic growth and multiplication. Here, we show that L-arginine (Arg) uptake through the host cell's SLC7A2-encoded transporters is essential for the parasite's development and maturation in the liver. Our data suggest that the Arg that is taken up is primarily metabolized by the arginase pathway to produce the polyamines required for Plasmodium growth. Although the parasite may hijack the host's biosynthesis pathway, it relies mainly upon its own arginase-AdoMetDC/ODC pathway to acquire the polyamines it needs to develop. These results identify for the first time a pivotal role for Arg-dependent polyamine production during Plasmodium's hepatic development and pave the way to the exploitation of strategies to impact liver infection by the malaria parasite through the modulation of Arg uptake and polyamine synthesis.
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Patricia Meireles, Antonio M. Mendes, Rita I. Aroeira, Bryan C. Mounce, Marco Vignuzzi, et al.. Uptake and metabolism of arginine impact Plasmodium development in the liver. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.4072. ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-04424-y⟩. ⟨pasteur-01570217⟩

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