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Kinetoplastid Biol Dis. 2005 Apr 29;4(1):3.

Stage-specific expression of the mitochondrial co-chaperonin of Leishmania donovani, CPN10.

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Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Bernhard Nocht St, 74, D-20359 Hamburg, Germany.



Leishmania spp., in the course of their parasitic life cycle, encounter two vastly different environments: the gut of sandflies and the phagosomes of mammalian macrophages. During transmission into a mammal, the parasites are exposed to increased ambient temperature as well as to different carbon sources. Molecular chaperones or heat shock proteins are implicated in the necessary adaptations which involve the ordered differentiation from the flagellated, extracellular promastigote to the intracellular amastigote stage.


Here, we show that the Leishmania donovani co-chaperonin, CPN10, is synthesised to a significantly increased concentration during in vitro differentiation to the amastigote stage. We show by fluorescence microscopy and by immunogold electron microscopy that, like its putative complex partner CPN60.2, CPN10 is localised to the single, tubular mitochondrion of the parasites and, moreover, that it co-precipitates with CPN60.2, the major mitochondrial chaperonin of Leishmania spp..


Our data indicate an increased requirement for CPN10 in the context of mitochondrial protein folding during or early in the mammalian stage of this pathogen. Moreover, they confirm the CPN60.2 as bona fide mitochondrial GroEL homologue in L. donovani and the postulated interaction of eukaryotic chaperonins, CPN60 and CPN10.

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