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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2004 Jul;136(1):51-62.

Proteomic analysis of Leishmania mexicana differentiation.

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Wellcome Trust Laboratories for Molecular Parasitology, Department of Biological Sciences, Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK.


We have resolved the proteome of axenically differentiated Leishmania mexicana parasites by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE), employing optimised, robust and reproducible procedures, and visualised (by silver staining) approximately 2000 protein species in each of three developmental stages: procyclic promastigotes, metacyclic promastigotes and amastigotes. This analysis has used homogeneous populations of these parasite stages, characterised according to their morphology, protease and nuclease activity profiles and expression of stage-specific antigens. Following comparison of the whole proteome profiles between stages, 47 spots were found to be stage-specific, while a further 100 spots changed in intensity during differentiation. The majority of "unique" spots were expressed during the infective stages of parasite differentiation, metacyclic promastigotes and amastigotes. CapLC-QTOF mass spectrometry has allowed the identification of 47 protein species to date, including a number which are only detected in the amastigote stage. Proteins identified are members of eight functionally related groupings, some of which are implicated in infectivity and host-parasite interactions.

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