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Infect Immun. 2006 Nov;74(11):6272-9.

Role of host protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 in Leishmania donovani-induced inhibition of nitric oxide production.

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Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Canada.


In order to survive within the macrophages of its host organism, the protozoan parasite Leishmania inhibits a number of critical, gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-inducible, macrophage functions, including the generation of nitric oxide. We have previously shown that the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 (Src-homology 2 domain containing phosphatase-1) is activated during Leishmania infection and plays an important role in both the survival of Leishmania within cultured macrophages and disease progression in vivo by inhibiting nitric oxide production. Here we use a SHP-1-/- macrophage cell line derived from motheaten mice to address the mechanisms by which SHP-1 prevents IFN-gamma-dependent nitric oxide production during Leishmania donovani infection. We show that Leishmania inhibits nitric oxide production in response to IFN-gamma poorly in SHP-1-deficient macrophages. This correlates with the inability of Leishmania to alter JAK2 and mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and to prevent nuclear translocation of transcription factors NF-kappaB and AP-1, although the latter two to a lesser extent. Surprisingly, Leishmania inactivated the transcription factor STAT1 to a similar extent in SHP-1-deficient and wild-type macrophages, so STAT1 is not necessary for nitric oxide production by infected macrophages. Overall, this study demonstrates that induction of SHP-1 by Leishmania is vital for inhibition of nitric oxide generation and that this inhibition occurs through the inactivation of JAK2 and ERK1/2, and transcription factors NF-kappaB and AP-1.

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