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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1994 Sep;67(1):49-57.

High level arsenite resistance in Leishmania tarentolae is mediated by an active extrusion system.

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Department of Biochemistry, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201.


Leishmania tarentolae cells selected for resistance to the oxyanions pentavalent or trivalent antimonials or to trivalent arsenicals exhibited cross-resistance to the other oxyanions. The basis for resistance in these mutants was studied by transport experiments using radioactive arsenite. All mutants exhibiting high level resistance to arsenite showed a marked decrease in the steady-state accumulation of arsenite. Decreased accumulation was also observed in antimonials-resistant mutants cross-resistant to various concentrations of arsenite. Cells depleted of endogenous energy reserves with metabolic inhibitors were loaded with radioactive arsenite; following addition of glucose, rapid efflux of arsenite was observed from arsenite mutant cells. Mutants resistant to high levels of arsenicals exhibited amplification of the P-glycoprotein related gene ltpgpA or of a linear amplicon of unknown function. However, the efflux-mediated arsenite resistance did not correlate with the amplification of the ltpgpA gene or with the presence of the linear amplicon. The calcium channel blocker verapamil and arsenite act in synergy in cells exhibiting the efflux system. Overall the oxyanion efflux system in Leishmania shares several properties with other resistance efflux systems mediated by transporters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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