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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1994 Apr;26(2):167-72.

Membrane-related processes and overall energy metabolism in Trypanosoma brucei and other kinetoplastid species.

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Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


An electrochemical proton gradient exists across the plasma membrane and the mitochondrial membrane of the bloodstream form of Trypanosoma brucei. The membrane potential across the plasma membrane and the regulation of the internal pH depend on the temperature. Leishmania donovani regulates its internal pH and maintains a constant electrochemical proton gradient across its plasma membrane under all conditions examined. The mitochondrion of the T. brucei bloodstream form is energized, even though the reactions taking place in it do not result in net ATP synthesis and the Kreb's cycle and the respiratory chain are absent. Glucose is transported across the plasma membrane of T. brucei by a facilitated diffusion carrier, that can transport a wider range of substrates than its mammalian counterparts. Pyruvate exits the cell via a facilitated diffusion transporter as well. Conflicting evidence exists for the mechanism of glucose transport in L. donovani; biochemical evidence suggests proton/glucose symport, while facilitated diffusion is indicated by physiological data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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