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Glycoconj J. 1996 Dec;13(6):955-66.

Structural variation in the glycoinositolphospholipids of different strains of Trypanosoma cruzi.

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Instituto de Microbiologia, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


The structures of the glycoinositolphospholipids (GIPLs) from five strains of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi have been determined. Two series of structures were identified, all but one containing the same Man4(AEP)GlcN-Ins-PO4 core. Series 1 oligosaccharides are substituted at the third mannose distal to inositol (Man 3) by ethanolamine-phosphate or 2-aminoethylphosphonic acid, as are some glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-protein anchors of T. cruzi. The core can be further substituted by terminal (1-3)-linked beta-galactofuranose units. In contrast, Series 2 oligosaccharides do not have additional phosphorus-containing groups attached to Man 3, the latter being substituted instead by a single side chain unit of beta-galactofuranose. Series 1 oligosaccharides are present in all strains (G, G-645, Tulahuen CL, and Y) whereas Series 2 structures are present mainly in CL and Y strains. The lipid moiety in the GIPLs from the G, G-645 and Tulahuen strains is predominantly ceramide, as reported for the Y strain, whilst that from the CL strain is a mixture of ceramide and alkylacylglycerol species. The lipid moiety of the GIPLs, and probably also the phosphoinositol-oligosaccharide structures may play an important immunomodulatory role in infection by T. cruzi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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