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Infect Immun. 2006 May;74(5):2613-8.

Leishmania donovani requires functional Cdc42 and Rac1 to prevent phagosomal maturation.

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  • 1Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden. marle@imk.liu.se


Leishmania donovani promastigotes survive inside macrophage phagosomes by inhibiting phagosomal maturation. The main surface glycoconjugate on promastigotes, lipophosphoglycan (LPG), is crucial for survival and mediates the formation of a protective shell of F-actin around the phagosome. Previous studies have demonstrated that this effect involves inhibition of protein kinase C alpha. The present study shows that functional Cdc42 and Rac1 are required for the formation of F-actin around L. donovani phagosomes. Moreover, we present data showing that phagosomes containing LPG-defective L. donovani, which is unable to induce F-actin accumulation, display both elevated levels of periphagosomal F-actin and impaired phagosomal maturation in macrophages with permanently active forms of Cdc42 and Rac1. We conclude that L. donovani engages Cdc42 and Rac1 to build up a protective coat of F-actin around its phagosome to prevent phagosomal maturation.

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