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Metallopeptidases of Toxoplasma gondii : in silico identification and gene expression

Abstract : Metallopeptidases are a family of proteins with domains that remain highly conserved throughout evolution. These hydrolases require divalent metal cation(s) to activate the water molecule in order to carry out their catalytic action on peptide bonds by nucleophilic attack. Metallopeptidases from parasitic protozoa, including Toxoplasma, are investigated because of their crucial role in parasite biology. In the present study, we screened the T. gondii database using PFAM motifs specific for metallopeptidases in association with the MEROPS peptidase Database (release 10.0). In all, 49 genes encoding proteins with metallopeptidase signatures were identified in the Toxoplasma genome. An Interpro Search enabled us to uncover their domain/motif organization, and orthologs with the highest similarity by BLAST were used for annotation. These 49 Toxoplasma metallopeptidases clustered into 15 families described in the MEROPS database. Experimental expression analysis of their genes in the tachyzoite stage revealed transcription for all genes studied. Further research on the role of these peptidases should increase our knowledge of basic Toxoplasma biology and provide opportunities to identify novel therapeutic targets. This type of study would also open a path towards the comparative biology of apicomplexans.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 2:44:59 PM
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Sandie Escotte-Binet, Antoine Huguenin, Dominique Aubert, Anne-Pascaline Martin, Matthieu Kaltenbach, et al.. Metallopeptidases of Toxoplasma gondii : in silico identification and gene expression. Parasite, EDP Sciences, 2018, 25, pp.26. ⟨10.1051/parasite/2018025⟩. ⟨hal-03110320⟩



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