The de novo synthesis of myo-inositol occurs via a two-step process: first, glucose 6-phosphate is converted into inositol 1-phosphate by an INO1 (myo-inositol-1-phosphate synthase; EC; then, it is dephosphorylated by an inositol monophosphatase. The myo-inositol can then be incorporated into PI (phosphatidylinositol), which is utilized in a variety of cellular functions, including the biosynthesis of GPI (glycosylphosphatidylinositol) anchors. A putative INO1 was identified in the Trypanosoma brucei genome database and, by recombinant expression in Escherichia coli, was shown to be a catalytically active INO1. To investigate the importance of INO1, we created a conditional knockout, which, under non-permissive conditions, showed that INO1 is an essential gene in bloodstream form T. brucei and that the de novo synthesized myo-inositol is used for the formation of PI and GPI anchors.

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