Studies on acid phosphatases of Trypanosoma congolense.
Tosomba, Omalokoho Médard.
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Bloodstream forms of African trypanosomes, which endocytose macromolecules exclusively through their flagellar pockets, contain an acid phosphatase (AcP) activity in this organelle. In the present thesis, AcP activity was demonstrated cytochemically in some intracellular vesicles and on the surface of Trypanosoma congolense as well as in the flagellar pocket. Unlike other trypanosomatids such as Leishmania spp. and Trichomonas spp., these trypanosomes, while viable, did not release this enzyme into the surrounding medium. In contrast to mammalian cells, the AcP in T. congolense was shown by cell fractionation to be a non-lysosomal enzyme. The enzyme was mostly recovered in the microsomal and cytosolic fractions which had 52.7% and 44.4% of the total activity, respectively. Further separation of the microsomal fraction showed an association of AcP activity with vesicles derived from the plasma membrane, Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. After ammonium sulfate precipitation and chromatography on a succession of columns containing Sephacryl S-300, DEAE-cellulose and Sephadex G-75, two acid phosphatases (AcPi and ACP2) were produced from the cytosolic fraction. A membrane-bound acid phosphatase (ACP3) was isolated from the microsomal pellets extracted with Triton X-l 14 and subjected to the above chromatographic procedures. The molecular mass of AcP 1 was higher than 700 kDa. It had an isoelectric point of 4.7. AcP2 (pi 5.3) and AcP3 (pi 6.5) had molecular masses of 33 and 320 kDa, respectively. AcPi and ACP3 were strongly inhibited by vanadate while ACP2 was strongly inhibited by p-chloromercuribenzoate. None of the enzymes was inhibited by tartrate but all were inhibited by NaF. The Km values for each of the various substrates differed widely between the three AcPs indicating that the binding site of each enzyme was distinct. The best of all the substrates tested was para-nitrophenyl phosphate. On non-denaturing gels the enzymes exhibited very high molecular masses but on denaturing SDS-PAGE, two similar bands of activity, localised at 62 and 65 kDa, were observed in all three AcP preparations. Thus the three isolated enzymes may be derived from the same base 62 and 65 kDa units. Differences between enzymes may be derived from differential processing of the isoenzymes for different functions at different locations.