Sep 1, 1989

Molecular biology of Leishmania

Biochemistry and Cell Biology = Biochimie Et Biologie Cellulaire
E Bard

Abstract

Leishmania is a trypanosomatid protozoa with a digenetic life cycle. Sandflies inject promastigotes, the free living form present in their salivary glands, into mammals where the parasite colonizes macrophages, transforming into intracellular amastigotes. The cycle is completed when during a blood meal the insect ingests infected macrophages, the amastigotes are released in the gut where they transform back into promastigotes. Leishmania has to adapt to the changing life conditions, from free-living forms in the poikilothermic insect vector to obligatory intracellular parasite in the homeothermic mammalian host. It also has to adapt to the acidic pH of the macrophage's phagolysosome where amastigotes multiply. The adaptative response of Leishmania includes morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes. Promastigotes can be grown in culture medium. Studies of changes taking place during adaptation have been facilitated by the establishment of in vitro conditions that allow the transformation of amastigotes into promastigotes and vice versa. The system is well suited for studying regulation of gene expression during adaptative differentiation. Some mechanisms of mRNA processing are unique to these protozoa: trans-splicing...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Antigens, Protozoan
Ploidies
Karyotype Determination Procedure
Leishmania viannia
Metazoa
RNA
DNA Sequence

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