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J Biol Chem. 1998 Oct 30;273(44):29118-26.

Differential regulation of multiple glucose transporter genes in Leishmania mexicana.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


We have studied the structure and expression of glucose transporter genes in the parasitic protozoan Leishmania mexicana. Three distinct glucose transporter isoforms, LmGT1, LmGT2, and LmGT3, are encoded by single copy genes that are clustered together at a single locus. Quantitation of Northern blots reveals that LmGT2 mRNA is present at approximately 15-fold higher level in promastigotes, the insect stage of the parasite life cycle, compared with amastigotes, the intracellular stage of the life cycle that lives within the mammalian host. In contrast, LmGT1 and LmGT3 mRNAs are expressed at similar levels in both life cycle stages. Transcription of the LmGT genes in promastigotes and axenically cultured amastigotes occurs at similar levels, as measured by nuclear run-on transcription. Consequently, the approximately 15-fold up-regulation of LmGT2 mRNA levels in promastigotes compared with amastigotes must be controlled at the post-transcriptional level. Measurement of LmGT2 RNA decay in promastigotes and axenic amastigotes treated with actinomycin D suggests that differential mRNA stability may play a role in regulating glucose transporter mRNA levels in the two life cycle stages.

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