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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1994 Oct;67(2):193-203.

Distribution of parasite cysteine proteinases in lesions of mice infected with Leishmania mexicana amastigotes.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie, Abteilung Membranbiochemie, Tübingen, Germany.


It is well established that Leishmania mexicana amastigotes contain large amounts of cysteine proteinases in their extended lysosomes. In this study it is shown that the cell-free supernatant of homogenized lesion tissue from infected mice contains large amounts of acid proteinases. The majority of this enzymatic activity also corresponds to cysteine proteinases from L. mexicana amastigotes. Immunoelectron microscopy of mouse lesion sections suggests, that frequently amastigotes lyse and release lysosomal cysteine proteinases into the parasitophorous vacuole of infected macrophages. The cysteine proteinases are also found extracellularly in the tissue presumably as a result of macrophage rupture and appear to persist in the lesion tissue, where they may damage host cells and the extracellular matrix.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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