Methionine metabolism

Methionine, an essential amino acid in humans is also essential to all apicomplexans and need to be salvaged from the host. The methionine metabolism pathway in Cryptosporidia is essential for providing S-adenosylmethionine, the methyl group donor in various reactions. A metabolic capability which is present in Plasmodium falciparum and absent in Coccidia including Cryptosporidia is the synthesis of polyamines such as spermine and spermidine. This has been incorporated with methionine metabolism in MPMP (methionine and polyamine metabolism). The genes coding for the enzymes ornithine decarboxylase, arginine decarboxylase and spermine/spermidine synthase are absent in the genomes of Cryptosporidia. Polyamine oxidase and spermine/spermidine N-acetyltransferase (SSAT) enzymes are present in Cryptosporidia genomes as in other Coccidia. The activities of arginine decarboxylase, spermine N-acetyltransferase and spermidine N-acetyltransferase were detected in Cryptosporidium parvum extracts although ornithine decarboxylase was not experimentally detected [1, 2]. This suggests the occurance of back conversion of putrescine from spermine salvaged from host.


Enzyme EC Number Gene id
[methionine synthase] reductase cgd4_1330
S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase 2.1.1.- cgd1_2680
Homocysteine S-methyltransferase Missing in annotation
Methionine adenosyl transferase cgd7_2650
Adenosylhomocysteinase cgd3_80
Met-tRNA ligase cgd8_3460
tRNA binding protein none cgd4_3880


List of genes annotated as tRNA-Met in C. parvum genome


cgd3_4135 cgd7_4955


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Sources and fates of metabolic pathways


Substrate Source pathways Product Fate pathways
Methionine Host Adenosine Purine metabolism


Examples of adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases in Cryptosporidium parvum genome


Enzyme EC Number Gene id
DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase cgd4_3740
DNA (cytosine-5-)-methyltransferase cgd5_2100