Pyrimidine salvage pathways in adult Schistosoma mansoni

Academic Article


  • Adult Schistosoma mansoni can utilize radiolabelled cytidine, uridine, uracil, orotate, deoxycytidine and thymidine for the synthesis of its nucleic acids. In this respect, cytidine is the most efficiently utilized pyrimidine precursor. Cytosine, thymine and orotidine are transported into the parasites but not metabolized. High performance liquid chromatography analysis of the nucleobase, nucleoside and nucleotide pools from in vivo metabolic studies and assays of enzyme activities in cell-free extracts indicate the presence of nucleoside and nucleotide kinases which phosphorylate the various nucleosides to their respective nucleoside mono-, di- and triphosphates. Uridine, thymidine and deoxyuridine can also be cleaved to their respective nucleobases by uridine phosphorylase. Uracil can be converted directly to UMP by orotate phosphoribosyltransferase or by the sequential actions of uridine phosphorylase and uridine kinase. Nucleoside 5'-monophosphates were dephosphorylated by active phosphohydrolases. All enzymes tested were found in the cytosol fraction with the exception of the phosphohydrolases which were associated mainly with the paniculate fraction. No deamination of cytosine, cytidine, deoxycytidine, CMP or dCMP was detected either in vivo or in vitro. The active metabolism of cytidine and absence of deamination and phosphorolysis of cytidine derivatives in schistosomes raise the possibility of using cytidine analogues for the selective treatment of schistosomiasis. © 1990.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • El Kouni MH; Naguib FNM
  • Start Page

  • 37
  • End Page

  • 44
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 1