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Molecular characterization, expression, and in vivo analysis of LmexCht1

Joshi, M. B., Rogers, Matthew E., Shakarian, A. M., Yamage, M., Al-Harthi, S. A., Bates, Paul and Dwyer, D. M. (2005) 'Molecular characterization, expression, and in vivo analysis of LmexCht1'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol 280, Issue 5, pp. 3847-3861.

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Chitinases have been implicated to be of importance in the life cycle development and transmission of a variety of parasitic organisms.. Using a molecular approach, we identified and characterized the structure of a single copy LmexCht1-chitinase gene from the primitive trypanosomatid pathogen of humans, Leishmania mexicana. The LmexCht1 encodes an similar to50 kDa protein, with well conserved substrate binding and catalytic domains characteristic of members of the chitinase-18 protein family. Further, we showed that LmexCht1 mRNA is constitutively expressed by both the insect vector (i.e. promastigote) and mammalian (i.e. amastigote) life cycle developmental forms of this protozoan parasite. Interestingly, however, amastigotes were found to secrete/release similar to>2-4-fold higher levels of chitinase activity during their growth in vitro than promastigotes. Moreover, a homologous episomal expression system was devised and used to express an epitope-tagged LmexCht1 chimeric construct in these parasites. Expression of the LrnexCht1 chimera was verified in these transfectants by, reverse transcription-PCR, Western blots, and indirect immunofluorescence analyses. Further, results of coupled immunoprecipitation/enzyme activity experiments demonstrated that the LntexCht1 chimeric protein was secreted/released by these transfected L mexicana parasites and that it possessed functional chitinase enzyme activity. Such transfectants were also evaluated for their infectivity both in human macrophages in vitro and in two different strains of mice. Results of those experiments demonstrated that the LmexCht1 transfectants survived significantly better in human macrophages and also produced significantly larger lesions in mice than control parasites. Taken together, our results indicate that the LmexCht1-chimera afforded a definitive survival advantage to the parasite within these mammalian hosts. Thus, the LniexCht1 could potentially represent a new virulence determinant in the mammalian phase of this important human pathogen.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: plasma chitotriosidase activity pathogen leishmania-donovani acidic mammalian chitinase eukaryotic human pathogens bacillus-circulans wl-12 crystal-structure inducible expression functional domains membrane-proteins sandfly vector
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Protozoa > QX 70 Mastigophora. (e.g., Giardia. Trichomonas. Trypanosoma. Leishmania)
WR Dermatology > Parasitic Skin Diseases > WR 350 Tropical diseases of the skin. Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Sarah Lewis-Newton
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2011 10:59
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2020 10:57


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