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No stress – Hsp90 and signal transduction in Leishmania

  • A. HOMBACH (a1) and J. CLOS (a1)

Hsp90 (a.k.a. Hsp83) plays a significant role in the life cycle control of the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. Rather than protecting Leishmania spp. against adverse and stressful environs, Hsp90 is required for the maintenance of the motile, highly proliferative insect stage, the promastigote. However, Hsp90 is also essential for survival and proliferation of the intracellular mammalian stage, the amastigote. Moreover, recent evidence shows Hsp90 and other components of large multi-chaperone complexes as substrates of stage-specific protein phosphorylation pathways, and thus as likely effectors of the signal transduction pathways in Leishmania spp. Future efforts should be directed towards the identification of the protein kinases and the critical phosphorylation sites as targets for novel therapeutic approaches.

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* Corresponding author: Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Bernhard Nocht St 74, 20359 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail:
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