Scientific article
Open access

The crystal structure of PfFabZ, the unique β‐hydroxyacyl‐ACP dehydratase involved in fatty acid biosynthesis of Plasmodium falciparum

Published inProtein science, vol. 14, no. 6, p. 1570-1580
Publication date2005

The unique β‐hydroxyacyl‐ACP dehydratase in Plasmodium falciparum , PfFabZ, is involved in fatty acid biosynthesis and catalyzes the dehydration of β‐hydroxy fatty acids linked to acyl carrier protein. The structure was solved by single anomalous dispersion (SAD) phasing using a quick‐soaking experiment with potassium iodide and refined to a resolution of 2.1 Å. The crystal structure represents the first structure of a Plasmodium β‐hydroxyacyl‐ACP dehydratase with broad substrate specificity. The asymmetric unit contains a hexamer that appears as a trimer of dimers. Each dimer shows the known “hot dog” fold that has been observed in only a few other protein structures. Each of the two independent active sites in the dimer is formed by equal contributions from both subunits. The active site is mainly hydrophobic and looks like an L‐shaped tunnel. The catalytically important amino acids His 133 and Glu 147′ (from the other subunit), together with His98′, form the only hydrophilic site in this tunnel. The inner end of the active site tunnel is closed by the phenyl ring of Phe 169, which is located in a flexible, partly visible loop. In order to explain the acceptance of substrates longer than ∼C‐7, the phenyl ring must move away to open the tunnel. The present structure supports an enzymatic mechanism consisting of an elimination reaction catalyzed by His 133 and Glu147′. 3‐decynoyl‐N‐acetylcysteamine, an inhibitor known to interact with the E. coli dehydratase/isomerase, turned out to interact covalently with PfFabZ. A first model of PfFabZ with this potent inhibitor is presented.

  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Malaria
  • Drug target
  • B-hydroxyacyl-ACP dehydratase
  • SAD phasing
  • 3-decynoyl-N-acetylcysteamine
  • Fatty acid biosynthesis
  • Crystal structure
Citation (ISO format)
KOSTREWA, Dirk et al. The crystal structure of PfFabZ, the unique β‐hydroxyacyl‐ACP dehydratase involved in fatty acid biosynthesis of <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i>. In: Protein science, 2005, vol. 14, n° 6, p. 1570–1580. doi: 10.1110/ps.051373005
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0961-8368

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