By using oligonucleotide primers derived from regions highly conserved in prokaryotic and eukaryotic phosphofructokinase sequences, a genomic DNA fragment was amplified and used to isolate cDNA and genomic clones coding for PPi-dependent phosphofructokinase (PPi-PFK) of Entamoeba histolytica. The open reading frame consists of 1308 bp and the corresponding protein has a calculated molecular mass of 47.6 kDa. The N-terminal half of the protein shows 27–35% identity with PPi-PFKs or ATP-dependent phosphofructokinases (ATP-PFKs) of various eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. The amino acid residues that form the active site of the PPi-PFK from Propionibacterium freudenreichii and the allosteric ATP-PFK from Escherichia coli are conserved within the amoeba sequence. The PPi-PFK was recombinantly expressed by using a prokaryotic expression system. The purified recombinant protein was found to be enzymically active. The Km values for PPi and fructose 6-phosphate of the native and the recombinant PPi-PFKs were nearly identical. Various bisphosphonates (synthetic pyrophosphate analogues) were tested for their ability to inhibit PPi-PFK activity or amoebic growth. All bisphosphonates tested were competitive inhibitors for amoeba PPi-PFK activity. The best inhibitors were CGP 48048 and zoledronate, with Ki values of 50 μM. All bisphosphonates inhibited amoebic growth. One of them (risedronate) was inhibitory at a concentration of 10 μM. Bisphosphonates are therefore potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of amoebiasis.
The nucleotide sequence reported will appear in the EMBL Data Library under the accession number X82173.