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Experimental parasitology

Leishmania amazonensis: characterization of an ecto-pyrophosphatase activity.


PMID 24316462

Abstract

Several ecto-enzymatic activities have been described in the plasma membrane of the protozoan Leishmania amazonensis, which is the major etiological agent of diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis in South America. These enzymes, including ecto-phosphatases, contribute to the survival of the parasite by participating in phosphate metabolism. This work identifies and characterizes the extracellular hydrolysis of inorganic pyrophosphate related to an ecto-pyrophosphatase activity of the promastigote form of L. amazonensis. This ecto-pyrophosphatase activity is insensitive to MnCl2 but is strongly stimulated by MgCl2. This stimulation was not observed during the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl phosphate (p-NPP) or β-glycerophosphate, two substrates for different ecto-phosphatases present in the L. amazonensis plasma membrane. Furthermore, extracellular PPi hydrolysis is more efficient at alkaline pHs, while p-NPP hydrolysis occurs mainly at acidic pHs. These results led us to conclude that extracellular PPi is hydrolyzed not by non-specific ecto-phosphatases but rather by a genuine ecto-pyrophosphatase. In the presence of 5mM MgCl2, the ecto-pyrophosphatase activity from L. amazonensis is sensitive to micromolar concentrations of NaF and millimolar concentrations of CaCl2. Moreover, this activity is significantly higher during the first days of L. amazonensis culture, which suggests a possible role for this enzyme in parasite growth.

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