Experimental parasitology

Structurally conserved soluble acid phosphatases are synthesized and released by Leishmania major promastigotes.

PMID 10910708


Previously it was reported that promastigotes of virtually all pathogenic Leishmania species, except Leishmania major, release a structurally conserved soluble acid phosphatase (AcP) activity during their growth in vitro (P. S. Doyle and D. M. Dwyer, Exp. Parasitol. 77, 435-444 1993). In the current study we used a highly sensitive fluorogenic detection method to demonstrate that soluble AcPs were in fact produced by promastigotes of several different strains of L. major. These L. major AcP activities were readily immunoprecipitated with a rabbit antibody previously generated against the L. donovani AcP. Results of metabolic labeling and immunoprecipitations demonstrated that AcPs produced by the L. majors strains examined had an apparent molecular mass of approximately 77 kDa. Results of Southern hybridization analysis with an L. donovani AcP gene probe showed that the AcP gene loci were conserved in the L. major strains examined. Taken together, these results indicate that the AcP enzyme has been structurally and functionally conserved throughout the evolution of pathogenic species of Leishmania. Such conservation suggests that the AcPs play a functional role in the growth and survival of this group of important human pathogens.

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4-Methylumbelliferyl phosphate, phosphatase substrate