Studies on the CPA cysteine peptidase in the Leishmania infantum genome strain JPCM5

Denise, H., Poot, J., Jiménez, M., Ambit, A., Herrmann, D.C., Vermeulen, A.N., Coombs, G. H. and Mottram, J.C. (2006) Studies on the CPA cysteine peptidase in the Leishmania infantum genome strain JPCM5. BMC Molecular Biology, 7(42),

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Abstract

Background Visceral leishmaniasis caused by members of the Leishmania donovani complex is often fatal in the absence of treatment. Research has been hampered by the lack of good laboratory models and tools for genetic manipulation. In this study, we have characterised a L. infantum line (JPCM5) that was isolated from a naturally infected dog and then cloned. We found that JPCM5 has attributes that make it an excellent laboratory model; different stages of the parasite life cycle can be studied in vitro, it is accessible to genetic manipulation and it has retained its virulence. Furthermore, the L. infantum JPCM5 genome has now been fully sequenced. Results We have further focused our studies on LiCPA, the L. infantum homologue to L. mexicana cysteine peptidase CPA. LiCPA was found to share a high percentage of amino acid identity with CPA proteins of other Leishmania species. Two independent LiCPA-deficient promastigote clones (ΔLicpa) were generated and their phenotype characterised. In contrast to L. mexicana CPA-deficient mutants, both clones of ΔLicpa were found to have significantly reduced virulence in vitro and in vivo. Re-expression of just one LiCPA allele (giving ΔLicpa::CPA) was sufficient to complement the reduced infectivity of both ΔLicpa mutants for human macrophages, which confirms the importance of LiCPA for L. infantum virulence. In contrast, in vivo experiments did not show any virulence recovery of the re-expressor clone ΔLicpaC1::CPA compared with the CPA-deficient mutant ΔLicpaC1. Conclusion The data suggest that CPA is not essential for replication of L. infantum promastigotes, but is important for the host-parasite interaction. Further studies will be necessary to elucidate the precise roles that LiCPA plays and why the re-expression of LiCPA in the ΔLicpa mutants complemented the gene deletion phenotype only in in vitro and not in in vivo infection of hamsters.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mottram, Professor Jeremy and Coombs, Professor Graham
Authors: Denise, H., Poot, J., Jiménez, M., Ambit, A., Herrmann, D.C., Vermeulen, A.N., Coombs, G. H., and Mottram, J.C.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:BMC Molecular Biology

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
297261Post-genomic analysis of cysteine protease function in Leishmania parasitesJeremy MottramMedical Research Council (MRC)G0000508Infection Immunity and Inflammation Life Sciences