Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Parasitol. 2008 May;38(6):633-9. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Functional analysis of Leishmania major cyclophilin.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


A potent immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A (CsA) is known to inhibit human cell infection by the pathogenic protozoan parasite Leishmania major both in vitro and in vivo. The proposed mechanism of action involves CsA binding to Leishmania major-expressed cyclophilin and subsequent down-regulation of signaling events necessary for establishing productive infection. Recently, we identified a ubiquitously expressed membrane protein, CD147, as a signaling receptor for extracellular cyclophilins in mammalian cells. Here we demonstrate that, while being enzymatically active, the Leishmania cyclophilin, unlike its human homologue, does not interact with CD147 on the cell surface of target cells. CD147 facilitates neither Leishmania binding nor infection. Primary structure and biochemical analyses revealed that the parasite's cyclophilin is defective in heparan binding, an event required for signaling interaction between CD147 and human cyclophilin. When the heparan-binding motif was reconstituted in Leishmania cyclophilin, it regained the CD147-dependent signaling activity. These results underscore a critical role of cyclophilin-heparan interactions in CD147-mediated signaling events and argue against the role of Leishmania cyclophilin in parasite binding to target cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center