Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Loss of virulence in NAD(P)H cytochrome b5 oxidoreductase deficient Leishmania major.

PMID 29906460


Leishmania promastigotes have the ability to synthesize essential polyunsaturated fatty acids de novo and can grow in lipid free media. Recently, we have shown that NAD(P)H cytochrome b5 oxidoreductase (Ncb5or) enzyme in Leishmania acts as the redox partner for Δ12 fatty acid desaturase, which catalyses the conversion of oleate to linoleate. So far, the exact role of Leishmania derived linoleate synthesis is still incomplete in the literature. The viability assay by flow cytometry as well as microscopic studies suggests that linoleate is an absolute requirement for Leishmania promastigote survival in delipidated media. Western blot analysis suggested that infection with log phase linoleate deficient mutant (KO) results in increased level of NF-κBp65, IκB and IKKβ phosphorylation in RAW264.7 cells. Similarly, the log phase KO infected RAW264.7 cells show dramatic increment of COX-2 expression and TNF-α secretion, compared to control or Ncb5or complement (CM) cell lines. The activation of inflammatory signaling pathways by KO mutant is significantly reduced when the RAW264.7 cells are pre-treated with BSA bound linoleate. Together, these findings confirmed that the leishmanial linoleate inhibits both COX-2 and TNF-α expression in macrophage via the inactivation of NF-κB signaling pathway. The stationary phase of KO promastigotes shows avirulence after infection in macrophages as well as inoculation into BALB/c mice; whereas CM cell lines show virulence. Collectively, these data provide strong evidence that de novo linoleate synthesis in Leishmania is an essential for parasite survival at extracellular promastigote stage as well as intracellular amastigote stage.