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Table 1 Key features on Plasmodium metacaspases

From: Are protozoan metacaspases potential parasite killers?

  Structure, processing and enzymatic activity Expression, localisation and function References
PbMCA1 Absence of caspase-like protease activity.
C2 domain in N-terminus.
P replaces the predicted catalytic C but a C is located immediately adjacent.
Expressed only in female gametocytes and all downstream mosquito stages.
Absence of loss-of-function in PbMCA1 deficient parasites.
[23]
PfMCA1 C2 and putative CARD domains in N-terminus.
Autoprocessing upstream the C14 peptidase domain.
R-specific and calcium-dependant proteolytic activity.
Absence of caspase-like protease activity.
Expressed in erythrocytic stages and mainly in the schizont.
Induced yeast cell death and growth retardation when over-expressed in Δyca1 yeasts treated with H2O2.
[20]
[22]
PfMCA2/3
PbMCA2/3
Absence of the H/C catalytic dyad but a C is located one residue upstream the consensus C for PfMCA3.   [22, 23]
  1. C2 domain: calcium-dependent membrane targeting motif. Abbreviations: BSF, bloodstream form; PCF, procyclic form; MCA, metacaspase; C, cysteine; D, aspartic acid; H, histidine; K, lysine; N, asparagine; P, proline; R, arginine; S, serine; W, tryptophan; FHS, fresh human serum; MLS, mitochondrial localisation signal; CARD, caspase recruitment domain.