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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1994 Apr;26(2):147-55.

Energy metabolism in Leishmania.

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Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Alanine plays a key role in the response of promastigotes to osmotic stress and to hypoxia. It is rapidly released in response to hypo-osmolality, is consumed from its large intracellular pool under iso-osmotic conditions even in the presence of glucose, and is synthesized under hyperosmotic conditions even in the absence of glucose. Its rate of oxidation, in the presence or absence of any of ten other amino acids tested, is strongly inhibited by hyperosmolality. Glucose oxidation is also inhibited by hyperosmolality, but to a lesser extent than that of alanine, and is inhibited by alanine, glutamate, and aspartate. Hyperosmolality also inhibits the incorporation of label from [2-14C]acetate into the putative storage carbohydrate, mannan, which occurs via the glyoxylate bypass and the as yet unexplored "mannoneogenic" pathway. The rates of glycolysis and of oxidation of several amino acids decrease with increasing culture age, but the capacity to oxidize fatty acids increases, and in cells from 3-day stationary phase cultures hyperosmolality enhances rather than inhibits alanine oxidation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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