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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Dec 1;544(2):360-71.

Purine metabolism in Leishmania donovani and Leishmania braziliensis.


We have studied purine metabolism in the culture forms of Leishmania donovani and Leishmania braziliensis. These organisms are incapable of synthesizing purines de novo from glycine, serine, or formate and require an exogenous purine for growth. This requirement is better satisfied by adenosine or hypoxanthine than by guanosine. Both adenine and inosine are converted to a common intermediate, hypoxanthine, before transformation to nucleotides. This is due to the activity of an adenine aminohydrolase ((EC, a rather unusual finding in a eukaryotic cell. There is a preferential synthesis of adenine nucleotides, even when guanine or xanthine are used as precursors. The pathways of purine nucleotide interconversions in these Leishmania resemble those found in mammalian cells except for the absence of de novo purine biosynthesis and the presence of an adenine-deaminating activiting.

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