Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Biochemical characteristics of the metacyclic forms of Leishmania major and L. mexicana mexicana

  • D. J. Mallinson (a1) and G. H. Coombs (a1)

Metacyclic forms of Leishmania major and putative metacyclics of L. mexicana mexicana were found to occur in abundance in stationary phase cultures. These forms have been compared in several ways with promastigotes from mid-log phase cultures and, in the case of L. m. mexicana, amastigotes. Metacyclics are smaller, contain less protein and appear more active than other promastigotes. Both forms of promastigote respire at a high rate in the absence of exogenous substrate. The free amino-acid contents of the various forms of the two species have been analysed. They differ in detail but alanine was the major amino acid in all cases. The isoenzyme content of the different forms differed significantly. That of the putative metacyclics of L. m. mexicana was in several respects more similar to amastigotes than promastigotes, suggesting that the form is pre-adapted for life in a mammal. Metacyclics of L. major apparently did not divide in culture but transformed back over a period of 48 h to mid-log phase cells. The results provide further detail of the molecular differences between mid-log phase and metacyclic promastigotes and confirm that metacyclics are a distinct form in the life-cycle.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

R. L. Berens , R. Brun & S. Krassner (1976). A simple monophasic medium for axenic culture of hemoflagellates. Journal of Parasitology 62, 360–5.

F. Darcy , G. Torpier , J. P. Kusnierz , F. S. Rizvi & F. Santoro (1987). Leishmania chagasi: in vitro differentiation of promastigotes monitored by flow cytometry. Experimental Parasitology 64, 376–84.

T. N. Darling , D. G. Davis , R. E. London & J. J. Blum (1987). Products of Leishmania braziliensis glucose catabolism: release of D-lactate and, under anaerobic conditions, glycerol. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 84, 7129–33.

S. Das , A. K. Saha , N. K. Mukhopadhyay & R. H. Glew (1986). A cyclic nucleotide-independent protein kinase in Leishmania donovani. The Biochemical Journal 240, 641–9.

T. I. Doran & R. Herman (1981). Characteristics of populations of promastigotes of Leishmania donovani. Journal of Protozoology 28, 345–50.

M. S. H. Giannini (1974). Effects of promastigote growth phase, frequency of subculture and host age on promastigote initiated infections with Leishmania donovani in the Golden hamster. Journal of Protozoology 21, 521–7.

D. T. Hart , K. Vickerman & G. H. Coombs (1981 b). Respiration of Leishmania mexicana amastigotes and promastigotes. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 4, 3951.

M. K. Howard , G. Sayers & M. A. Miles (1987). Leishmania donovani metacyclic promastigotes: transformation in vitro, lectin agglutination, complement resistance and infectivity. Experimental Parasitology 64, 147–56.

R. Killick-Kendrick (1986). The transmission of leishmaniasis by the bite of the sandfly. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 132, 134–40.

R. Killick-Kendrick (1987). The microecology of Leishmania in the gut and proboscis of the sandfly. In Host-Parasite Cellular and Molecular Interactions in Protozoal Infections (ed. Chang K.-P. and D. Snary ), pp. 397406. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

D. L. King , Y.-D. Chang & S. J. Turco (1987). Cell surface lipophosphoglycan of Leishmania donovani. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 24, 4753.

P. G. Lawyer , D. G. Young , J. F. Butler & D. E. Akin (1987). Development of Leishmania mexicana in Lutzomyia diabolica and Lutzomyia shannoni (Diptera: Psychodidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 24, 347–55.

O. Misset , O. J. M. Bos & F. R. Opperdoes (1986). Glycolytic enzymes of Trypanosoma brucei. Simultaneous purification, intraglycosomal concentrations and physical properties. European Journal of Biochemistry 157, 441–53.

D. M. Mosser , S. K. Burke , E. E. Coutavas , J. F. Wedgewood & P. J. Edelson (1986). Leishmania species: mechanisms of complement activation by five strains of promastigotes. Experimental Parasitology 62, 394404.

J. C. Mottram & G. H. Coombs (1985 b). Leishmania mexicana: subcellular distribution of enzymes in amastigotes and promastigotes. Experimental Parasitology 59, 365–74.

S. M. Puentes , D. L. Sacks , R. P. Da Silva & K. A. Joiner (1988). Complement binding by two developmental stages of Leishmania major promastigotes varying in expression of a surface lipophosphoglycan. Journal of Experimental Medicine 167, 887902.

F. S. Rizvi , D. Afchain , I. Sherlock , M. Sadigursky , A. Capron & F. Santoro (1985). Infectivity of Leishmania promastigotes is associated with surface antigenic expression. Immunology Letters 11, 317–23.

J. Robinson & J. M. Cooper (1970). Method of determining oxygen concentrations in biological media suitable for calibration of the oxygen electrode. Analytical Biochemistry 33, 390–9.

D. L. Sacks & P. V. Perkins (1984). Identification of an infective stage of Leishmania promastigotes. Science 223, 1417–19.

M. W. Simon , K. Jayasimhulu & A. J. Mukkada (1983). The free amino acid pool in Leishmania tropica promastigotes. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 9, 4757.

A. Warburg , G. S. Hamada , Y. Schlein & D. Shire (1986). Scanning electron microscopy of Leishmania major in Phlebotomus papatasi. Zeitschrift für Parasitenkunde 72, 423–31.

G. T. Williams (1983). Trypanosoma cruzi: inhibition of intracellular and extracellular differentiation by ADP-ribosyl transferase antagonists. Experimental Parasitology 56, 409–15.

G. T. Williams (1984). Specific inhibition of the differentiation of Trypanosoma cruzi. Journal of Cell Biology 99, 7982.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 56 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.