The cell cycle of Leishmania: morphogenetic events and their implications for parasite biology

Wheeler, R. J., Gluenz, E. and Gull, K. (2011) The cell cycle of Leishmania: morphogenetic events and their implications for parasite biology. Molecular Microbiology, 79(3), pp. 647-662. (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07479.x) (PMID:21255109) (PMCID:PMC3166656)

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The cell cycle is central to understanding fundamental biology of Leishmania, a group of human‐infective protozoan parasites. Leishmania have two main life cycle morphologies: the intracellular amastigote in the mammalian host and the promastigote in the fly. We have produced the first comprehensive and quantitative description of a Leishmania promastigote cell cycle taking a morphometric approach to position any cell within the cell cycle based on its length and DNA content. We describe timings of cell cycle phases and rates of morphological changes; kinetoplast and nucleus S phase, division and position, cell body growth and morphology changes, flagellum growth and basal body duplication. We have shown that Leishmania mexicana undergoes large changes in morphology through the cell cycle and that the wide range of morphologies present in cultures during exponential growth represent different cell cycle stages. We also show promastigote flagellum growth occurs over multiple cell cycles. There are clear implications for the mechanisms of flagellum length regulation, life cycle stage differentiation and trypanosomatid division in general. This data set therefore provides a platform which will be of use for post‐genomic analyses of Leishmania cell biology in relation to differentiation and infection.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Article re-use terms available at
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gluenz, Dr Eva
Authors: Wheeler, R. J., Gluenz, E., and Gull, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:Molecular Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1365-2958
Published Online:13 December 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in Molecular Microbiology 79(3):647-662
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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