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Mol Cell Biol. 1984 Jun;4(6):1013-9.

Genetic analysis of nucleoside transport in Leishmania donovani.


Genetic dissection of nucleoside transport in Leishmania donovani indicates that the insect vector form of these parasites possesses two biochemically distinct nucleoside transport systems. The first transports inosine, guanosine, and formycin B, and the second transports pyrimidine nucleosides and the adenosine analogs, formycin A and tubercidin. Adenosine is transported by both systems. A mutant, FBD5, isolated by virtue of its resistance to growth inhibition by 5 microM formycin B, cannot efficiently transport inosine, guanosine, or formycin B. This cell line is also cross-resistant to growth inhibition by a spectrum of cytotoxic analogs of inosine and guanosine. A second parasite mutant, TUBA5, isolated for its resistance to 20 microM tubercidin, cannot take up from the culture medium radiolabeled tubercidin, formycin A, uridine, cytidine, or thymidine. Both the FBD5 and the TUBA5 cell lines have about a 50% reduced capacity to take up adenosine, indicating that adenosine is transported by both systems. A tubercidin-resistant clonal derivative of FBD5, FBD5-TUB, has acquired the combined biochemical phenotype of each single mutant. The wild-type and mutant cell lines transport purine bases and uracil with equal efficiency. Mutational analysis of the relative growth sensitivities to cytotoxic nucleoside analogs and the selective capacities to take up exogenous radiolabeled nucleosides from the culture medium have enabled us to define genetically the multiplicity and substrate specificities of the nucleoside transport systems in L. donovani promastigotes.

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