Metabolic changes in glucose transporter-deficient Leishmania mexicana and parasite virulence

Dayana Rodríguez-Contreras, Scott M. Landfear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Leishmania mexicana are parasitic protozoa that express a variety of glycoconjugates that play important roles in their biology as well as the storage carbohydrate β-mannan, which is an essential virulence factor for survival of intracellular amastigote forms in the mammalian host. Glucose transporter null mutants, which are viable as insect form promastigotes but not as amastigotes, do not take up glucose and other hexoses but are still able to synthesize these glycoconjugates and β-mannan, although at reduced levels. Synthesis of these carbohydrate-containing macromolecules could be accounted for by incorporation of non-carbohydrate precursors into carbohydrates by gluconeogenesis. However, the significantly reduced level of the virulence factor β-mannan in the glucose transporter null mutants compared with wild-type parasites may contribute to the non-viability of these null mutants in the disease-causing amastigote stage of the life cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20068-20076
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 21 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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