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Trends Parasitol. 2007 Apr;23(4):149-58. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Metabolism of Leishmania: proven and predicted.

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  • 1Research Unit for Tropical Diseases and Laboratory of Biochemistry, Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology and Catholic University of Louvain, Avenue Hippocrate 74-75, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


The complete analysis of the genomes of three major trypanosomatid parasites has facilitated comparison of the metabolic capabilities of each, as predicted from gene sequences. Not surprisingly, there are differences but is it possible to correlate these with the lives of the parasites themselves and make further predictions of the meaning and physiological importance of the apparently parasite-specific metabolism? In this article, we relate gene predictions with the results from experimental studies. We also speculate on the key metabolic adaptations of Leishmania and reasons why it differs from Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi.

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