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Parasitol Today. 2000 Jun;16(6):246-50.

Evolutionarily conserved proteins as prominent immunogens during Leishmania infections.

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Centro de Biologiá Molecular Severo Ochoa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Many Leishmania antigens have been identified as members of conserved protein families, such as the acidic ribosomal proteins, the histones and the heat-shock proteins; despite this, they elicit specific immune responses. Furthermore, homologues of many of these antigens are immune targets in other infectious diseases and systemic autoimmune diseases. Here, Jose Mar a Requena, Carlos Alonso and Manuel Soto review this class of widely distributed antigens, which they call 'panantigens'. They also propose a model to explain the prominent immunogenicity of these antigens during Leishmania infection, on the basis of the fact that many panantigens are constituents of multicomponent complexes in the cell. The elucidation of the pathways by which Leishmania antigens are processed and presented to effector cells from the host immune system will shed light on the immunopathology of leishmaniasis and help in the development of protective immunotherapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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