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Int J Parasitol. 2010 Nov;40(13):1497-516. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.05.013. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Transcriptomics throughout the life cycle of Leishmania infantum: high down-regulation rate in the amastigote stage.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología Molecular y Biología de las Infecciones, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


Leishmania infantum is the causative agent of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in the Mediterranean Basin. The promastigote and amastigote stages alternate in the life cycle of the parasite, developing inside the sand-fly gut and inside mammalian phagocytic cells, respectively. High-throughput genomic and proteomic analyses have not focused their attention on promastigote development, although partial approaches have been made in Leishmania major and Leishmania braziliensis. For this reason we have studied the expression modulation of an etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis throughout the life cycle, which has been performed by means of complete genomic microarrays. In the context of constitutive genome expression in Leishmania spp. described elsewhere and confirmed here (5.7%), we found a down-regulation rate of 68% in the amastigote stage, which has been contrasted by binomial tests and includes the down-regulation of genes involved in translation and ribosome biogenesis. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of pre-adaptation of the parasite to intracellular survival at this stage.

Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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