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World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Endosome sorting and autophagy are essential for differentiation and virulence of Leishmania major

Besteiro, S. and Williams, R.A. and Morrison, L.S. and Coombs, G.H. and Mottram, J.C. (2006) Endosome sorting and autophagy are essential for differentiation and virulence of Leishmania major. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281 (16). pp. 11384-11396. ISSN 1083-351X

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Abstract

Cellular remodeling during differentiation is essential for lifecycle progression of many unicellular eukaryotic pathogens such as Leishmania, but the mechanisms involved are largely uncharacterized. The role of endosomal sorting in differentiation was analyzed in Leishmania major by overexpression of a dominant-negative ATPase, VPS4. VPS4E235Q accumulated in vesicles from the endocytic pathway, and the mutant L. major was deficient in endosome sorting. Mutant parasites failed to differentiate to the obligate infective metacyclic promastigote form. Furthermore, the autophagy pathway, monitored via the expression of autophagosome marker GFP-ATG8, and shown to normally peak during initiation of metacyclogenesis, was disrupted in the mutants. The defect in late endosome-autophagosome function in the VPS4E235Q parasites made them less able to withstand starvation than wild-type L. major. In addition, a L. major ATG4-deficient mutant was found also to be defective in the ability to differentiate. This finding, that transformation to the infective metacyclic form is dependent on late endosome function and, more directly, autophagy, makes L. major a good model for studying the roles of these processes in differentiation.