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Metabolic variation during development in culture of Leishmania donovani promastigotes

Silva, Ana Marta and Cordeiro-da-Silva, Anabela and Coombs, Graham H (2011) Metabolic variation during development in culture of Leishmania donovani promastigotes. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5 (12). pp. 1-13.

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The genome sequencing of several Leishmania species has provided immense amounts of data and allowed the prediction of the metabolic pathways potentially operating. Subsequent genetic and proteomic studies have identified stage-specific proteins and putative virulence factors but many aspects of the metabolic adaptations of Leishmania remain to be elucidated. In this study, we have used an untargeted metabolomics approach to analyze changes in the metabolite profile as promastigotes of L. donovani develop during in vitro cultures from logarithmic to stationary phase. The results show that the metabolomes of promastigotes on days 3-6 of culture differ significantly from each other, consistent with there being distinct developmental changes. Most notable were the structural changes in glycerophospholipids and increase in the abundance of sphingolipids and glycerolipids as cells progress from logarithmic to stationary phase.