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Exp Parasitol. 1996 Aug;83(3):314-21.

Crithidia luciliae: regulation of purine nucleoside transport by extracellular purine concentrations.

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  • 1School of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


During the growth cycle of the protozoan parasite Crithidia luciliae, there was a dramatic concomitant increase in the rate of adenosine and guanosine transport and 3' nucleotidase (3'NTase) activity after 72-94 hr. The simultaneous increased activities of the nucleoside transporters and 3'NTase could be suppressed by addition to the medium of a purine supplement such as adenosine (100 microM). C. luciliae grown in purine-replete medium (> or = 75 microM adenosine) exhibited low rates of adenosine and guanosine transport whilst parasites transferred to a defined serum-free medium containing < or = 7.5 microM adenosine demonstrated elevated levels of both adenosine and guanosine transport up to 25- to 40-fold. The increased activity of the nucleoside transporters was inhibited by cycloheximide (10 microM). Under conditions of purine depletion 3'AMP and 3'GMP inhibited the adenosine and guanosine transporters, respectively. However, in the presence of a purine supplement (100 microM), neither 3'AMP nor 3'GMP was an effective inhibitor of nucleoside transport. Our results link the increased activity of the nucleoside transporters to the increased activity of the 3'NTase, indicating the activation of a purine salvage system not previously reported in other organisms.

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