Original Paper

Parasitology Research

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 421-425

First online:

Ribosomes ofLeishmania are a target for the aminoglycosides

  • Mohammad MaaroufAffiliated withC.N.R.S., Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles
  • , Françoise LawrenceAffiliated withC.N.R.S., Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles
  • , Simon L. CroftAffiliated withLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • , Malka Robert-GeroAffiliated withC.N.R.S., Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles

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Ribosomes ofLeishmania, a parasitic protozoan (member of the order of Kinetoplastidae), were purified on a sucrose density gradient. Two different types of ribosomes were isolated from the promastigotes: cytoplasmic (88S and 91S fromL. tropica andL. donovani, respectively) and mitochondrial (75S in both species). Both types of ribosome dissociated into their subunits at low Mg2+ concentration (1–2 mM) as follows: 67S and 49S for the 91S cytoplasmic ribosomes ofL. donovani and 61S and 43S for the 88S cytoplasmic ribosome ofL. tropica; 55S and 34S forL. tropica and 60S and 39S forL. donovani mitochondrial ribosomes, respectively. Paromomycin (aminosidine), an aminoglycoside aminocyclitol antibiotic, interacted with the ribosomes to promote the association of the subunits. Under similar experimental conditions, spermidine and pentamidine were inactive.