Biopterin conversion to reduced folates by Leishmania donovani promastigotes

Joanne T. Beck, Buddy Ullman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The ability of Leishmania donovani promastigotes to proliferate in folate-deficient medium supplemented with pterins suggests that pterins can serve as a source of folate in these parasites [16]. Using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, the ability of intact L. donovani to transform [3H]biopterin into tetrahydrofolates was demonstrated. Radioactivity was primarily associated with 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and 10-formyltetrahydrofolate. A mutant strain of L. donovani, MTXA5, that was genetically deficient in folate transport capacity and incapable of growing in pterin-supplemented folate-deficient growth medium, exhibited a greatly reduced capacity to metabolize [3H]biopterin to reduced folates. These data indicated that wild-type L. donovani promastigotes, unlike mammalian cells, were able to convert biopterin to tetrahydrofolates and supported the hypothesis that folate transport deficiency in mutant organisms is associated with an inability to transform pterins to reduced folates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1991


  • Folate biosynthesis
  • Leishmania donovani
  • Pterin metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biopterin conversion to reduced folates by Leishmania donovani promastigotes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this