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Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist. 2013 Sep 5;3:143-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2013.08.001. eCollection 2013 Dec.

Molecular characterization of the MRPA transporter and antimony uptake in four New World Leishmania spp. susceptible and resistant to antimony.

Author information

1
Laboratório de Parasitologia Celular e Molecular, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou - CPqRR/FIOCRUZ, Belo Horizonte 30190-002, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
2
Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Minas Gerais, Brazil ; Centre de Recherche en Infectiologie, CHUL, Québec G1V 4G2, QC, Canada.
3
Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Abstract

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters have been associated with drug resistance in various diseases. The MRPA gene, a transporter of ABCC subfamily, is involved in the resistance by sequestering metal-thiol conjugates in intracellular vesicles of Leishmania parasite. In this study, we performed the molecular characterization of the MRPA transporter, analysis of P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and aquaglyceroporin-1 (AQP1) expression, and determination of antimony level in antimony-susceptible and -resistant lines of L. (V.) guyanensis, L. (L.) amazonensis, L. (V.) braziliensis and L. (L.) infantum. PFGE analysis revealed an association of chromosomal amplification of MRPA gene with the drug resistance phenotype in all SbIII-resistant Leishmania lines analyzed. Levels of mRNA from MRPA gene determined by real-time quantitative RT-PCR showed an increased expression of two fold in SbIII-resistant lines of Leishmania guyanensis, Leishmania amazonensis and Leishmania braziliensis. Western blot analysis revealed that Pgp is increased in the SbIII-resistant L. guyanensis and L. amazonensis lines. The intracellular level of antimony quantified by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry showed a reduction in the accumulation of this element in SbIII-resistant L. guyanensis, L. amazonensis and L. braziliensis lines when compared to their susceptible counterparts. Interestingly, a down-regulation of AQP1 protein was observed in the SbIII-resistant L. guyanensis and L. amazonensis lines, contributing for decreasing of SbIII entry in these lines. In addition, efflux experiments revealed that the rates of SbIII efflux are higher in the SbIII-resistant lines of L. guyanensis and L. braziliensis, that may explain also the low SbIII concentration within of these parasites. The BSO, an inhibitor of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase enzyme, reversed the SbIII-resistance phenotype of L. braziliensis and caused an increasing in the Sb intracellular level in the LbSbR line. Our data indicate that the mechanisms of antimony-resistance are different among species of Leishmania analyzed in this study.

KEYWORDS:

AQP1, aquaglyceroporin-1; Drug resistance; La, L. (L.) amazonensis; Lb, L. (V.) braziliensis; Leishmania spp.; Lg, L. (V.) guyanensis; Li, L. (L.) infantum; MRPA transporter; MRPA, multidrug-resistance protein A; Pgp, phosphoglycoprotein; Potassium antimonyl tartrate; SbIII, potassium antimonyl tartrate; SbR, SbIII-resistant; WTS, Wild-type susceptible

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