Two novel nucleobase/pentamidine transporters from Trypanosoma brucei

Diana Ortiz, Marco Sanchez, Paula Quecke, Scott M. Landfear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


African trypanosomes are unable to synthesize purines de novo and must salvage preformed purine nucleosides and nucleobases from their hosts. The Trypanosoma brucei genome project has identified 12 members of the equilibrative nucleoside transporter family, most of which have been characterized previously as nucleoside and/or nucleobase transporters. Here the 11th member of this family, TbNT11.1, has been functionally expressed in null mutants of Leishmania that are deficient in purine nucleoside or nucleobase uptake and identified as a high-affinity purine nucleobase transporter. Expression of TbNT11.1 in Xenopus oocytes revealed that it is also a transporter for the diamidine drug pentamidine that is the principal drug employed to treat early stage human African trypanosomiasis and may thus contribute to the uptake of this therapeutically important compound. In addition, characterization of the 12th member of the family, TbNT12.1, reveals that it is an adenine/pentamidine transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • African trypanosomes
  • Nucleobase transporters
  • Pentamidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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