Journal article

Evidence that free GPI glycolipids are essential for growth of Leishmania mexicana.

SC Ilgoutz, JL Zawadzki, JE Ralton, MJ McConville

EMBO J | Published : 1999


The cell surface of the parasitic protozoan Leishmania mexicana is coated by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoproteins, a GPI-anchored lipophosphoglycan and a class of free GPI glycolipids. To investigate whether the anchor or free GPIs are required for parasite growth we cloned the L.mexicana gene for dolichol-phosphate-mannose synthase (DPMS) and attempted to create DPMS knockout mutants by targeted gene deletion. DPMS catalyzes the formation of dolichol-phosphate mannose, the sugar donor for all mannose additions in the biosynthesis of both the anchor and free GPIs, except for a alpha1-3-linked mannose residue that is added exclusively to the free GPIs and lipophosphoglyca..

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