Hsp90 inhibitors radicicol and geldanamycin have opposing effects on Leishmania Aha1-dependent proliferation
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Hsp90 and its co-chaperones are essential for the medically important parasite Leishmania donovani, facilitating life cycle control and intracellular survival. Activity of Hsp90 is regulated by co-chaperones of the Aha1 and P23 families. In this paper, we studied the expression of L. donovani Aha1 in two life cycle stages, its interaction with Hsp90 and the phenotype of Aha1 null mutants during the insect stage and inside infected macrophages. This study provides a detailed in vitro analysis of the function of Aha1 in Leishmania parasites and the first instance of a reverse genetic analysis of Aha1 in a protozoan parasite. While Aha1 is non-essential under standard growth conditions and at elevated temperature, Aha1 protects against ethanol stress. However, both overexpression and lack of Aha1 affected parasite growth in the presence of the Hsp90 inhibitors radicicol (RAD) and geldanamycin (GA). Under RAD pressure, P23 and Aha1 act in an antagonistic way. By contrast, expression levels of both co-chaperones have similar effects under GA treatment, indicating different inhibition mechanisms by the two compounds. Aha1 is also secreted in virulence-enhancing exosomes. This may explain why the loss of Aha1 reduces the infectivity of L. donovani in ex vivo mouse macrophages, indicating a role during the intracellular mammalian stage.
KeywordsLeishmania Aha1 Hsp90 Co-chaperone Inhibitors Exosomes
We thank Eugenia Bifeld and Julia Eick for providing bone marrow-derived macrophages. The work described here was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Grant CL 120/8-1.
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