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Exp Parasitol. 1999 Jul;92(3):183-91.

Leishmania: overexpression and comparative structural analysis of the stage-regulated meta 1 gene.

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Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.


The meta 1 gene of Leishmania major is upregulated in metacyclic promastigotes and encodes an 11.5-kDa protein with no significant similarities to other proteins in the existing databases. In this paper, we characterize the homologous meta 1 genes in L. amazonensis and L. donovani. Proteins encoded by this gene in all three species present a high degree of identity. The meta 1 gene cannot be replaced by gene targeting in L. major, suggesting an essential role for the protein, at least in promastigotes. Overexpression of the meta 1 protein in L. amazonensis generates parasites that are more virulent than wild-type organisms in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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