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Parasitol Res. 2000 Aug;86(8):661-4.

Arsenite-resistant Leishmania donovani promastigotes express an enhanced membrane P-type adenosine triphosphatase activity that is sensitive to verapamil treatment.

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Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Punjab, India.


An arsenite-resistant strain of Leishmania donovani was generated in vitro by sequential exposure to higher concentrations of sodium m-arsenite. The resistant strain displayed a low level of cross-resistance to structurally unrelated drugs such as doxorubicin and pentamidine. This cross-resistance was sensitive to the calcium-channel blocker verapamil. The membrane-associated P-type adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity detected in crude membrane fractions of the resistant strain was 3-fold that found in the wild-type parasites. The enhanced ATPase activity was unaffected by the presence of verapamil in the reaction mixture. However, when cells were grown in the presence of verapamil the membrane-associated ATPase activity of the resistant strain showed significant inhibition.

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