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Characterization of the elongating alpha-D-mannosyl phosphate transferase from three species of Leishmania using synthetic acceptor substrate analogues

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  • F H Routier
  • A P Higson
  • I A Ivanova
  • A J Ross
  • Y E Tsvetkov
  • D V Yashunsky
  • P A Bates
  • A V Nikolaev
  • M A Ferguson
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/07/2000
Issue number27
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)8017-8025
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Leishmania express lipophosphoglycans and proteophosphoglycans that contain Galbeta1-4Manalpha1-P phosphosaccharide repeat structures assembled by the sequential addition of Manalpha1-P and betaGal. The synthetic acceptor substrate Galbeta1-4Manalpha1-P-decenyl and a series of analogues were used to probe Leishmania alpha-D-mannosyl phosphate transferase activity. We show that the activity detected with Galbeta1-4Manalpha1-P-decenyl is the elongating alpha-D-mannosyl phosphate transferase associated with lipophosphoglycan biosynthesis (eMPT(LPG)). Differences in the apparent K(m) values for the donor and acceptor substrates were found using L. major, L. mexicana, and L. donovani promastigote membranes, but total activity correlated with the number of lipophosphoglycan repeats. Further comparisons showed that lesion-derived L. mexicana amastigotes, that do not express lipophosphoglycan, lack eMPT(LPG) and that nondividing L. major metacyclic promastigotes contain 5-fold less eMPT(LPG) activity than dividing procyclic promastigotes. The fine specificity of promastigote eMPT(LPG) activity was determined using 24 synthetic analogues of Galbeta1-4Manalpha1-P-decenyl. The three species gave similar results: the negative charge of the phosphodiester and the C-6 hydroxyl of the alphaMan residue are essential for substrate recognition, the latter most likely acting as a hydrogen bond acceptor. The C-6' hydroxyl of the betaGal residue is required for substrate recognition as well as for catalysis. The rate of Manalpha1-P transfer declines with increasing acceptor substrate chain length. The presence of a monosaccharide substituent at the C-3 position of the terminal betaGal residue abrogates Man-P transfer, showing that chain elongation must precede side chain modification during lipophosphoglycan biosynthesis. In contrast, substitution of the penultimate phosphosaccharide repeat does not abrogate transfer but is slightly stimulatory in L. mexicana and inhibitory in L. major.