Generation of adenosine tri-phosphate in Leishmania donovani amastigote forms
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Leishmania, the causative agent of various forms of leishmaniasis, is the significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Regarding energy metabolism, which is an essential factor for the survival, parasites adapt to the environment under low oxygen tension in the host using metabolic systems which are very different from that of the host mammals. We carried out the study of susceptibilities to different inhibitors of mitochondrial electron transport chain and studies on substrate level phosphorylation in wild-type L. donovani. The amastigote forms of L. donovani are independent on oxidative phosphorylation for ATP production. Indeed, its cell growth was not inhibited by excess oligomycin and dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, which are the most specific inhibitors of the mitochondrial Fo/F1-ATP synthase. In contrast, mitochondrial complex I inhibitor rotenone and complex III inhibitor antimycin A inhibited amastigote cell growth, suggesting the role of complex I and complex III in cell survival. Complex II appeared to have no role in cell survival. To further investigate the site of ATP production, we studied the substrate level phosphorylation, which was involved in the synthesis of ATP. Succinate-pyruvate couple showed the highest substrate level phosphorylation in amastigotes whereas NADH-fumarate and NADH-pyruvate couples failed to produce ATP. In contrast, NADPH-fumarate showed the highest rate of ATP formation in promastigotes. Therefore, we can conclude that substrate level phosphorylation is essential for the survival of amastigote forms of Leishmania donovani.
KeywordsATP Leishmania amastigote promastigote substrate level phosphorylation oligomycin
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