Identification and characterization of a polyamine permease from the protozoan parasite Leishmania major

Marie Pierre Hasne, Buddy Ullman

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96 Scopus citations


The proteins that mediate polyamine translocation into eukaryotic cells have not been identified at the molecular level. To define the polyamine transport pathways in eukaryotic cells we have cloned a gene, LmPOT1, that encodes a polyamine transporter from the protozoan pathogen, Leishmania major. Sequence analysis of LmPOT1 predicted an unusual 803-residue polytopic protein with 9-12 transmembrane domains. Expression of LmPOT1 cRNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed LmPOT1 to be a high affinity transporter for both putrescine and spermidine, whereas expression of LmPOT1 in Trypanosoma brucei stimulated putrescine uptake that was sensitive to inhibition by pentamidine and proton ionophores. Immunoblot analysis established that LmPOT1 was expressed predominantly in the insect vector form of L. major, and immunofluorescence demonstrated that LmPOT1 was localized predominantly to the parasite plasma membrane. To our knowledge this is the first molecular identification and characterization of a cell surface polyamine transporter in eukaryotic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15188-15194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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