Trichomonas vaginalis is incapable of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis because it cannot incorporate bicarbonate, aspartate or orotate into its pyrimidine nucleotides or nucleic acids. The organism can salvage exogenous cytidine > uridine > uracil and thymidine, and incorporate them into the nucleotide pool. A portion of cytidine is converted to CMP, CDP and CTP by cytidine phosphotransferase and nucleotide kinases. Some cytidine and most of uracil are, however, converted first to uridine by cytidine deaminase and uridine phosphorylase respectively; uridine is then incorporated into UMP, UDP and UTP by uridine phosphotransferase and nucleotide kinases. The two phosphotransferases, found mainly in the non-sedimentable fraction of T. vaginalis, provide the main avenue of pyrimidine salvage. No significant levels of pyrimidine phosphoribosyl transferase or nucleoside kinases can be detected in the extract. T. vaginalis has no appreciable dihydrofolate reductase or thymidylate synthetase; it grows normally in millimolar concentrations of methotrexate, pyrimethamine, or trimethoprim, and cannot incorporate labels from exogenous uracil or uridine into DNA. It has an enzyme thymidine phosphotransferase in the sedimentable fraction which converts thymidine to TMP. Thymidine salvage in T. vaginalis is thus totally isolated from the rest of the pyrimidine salvage.
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