Recent advances in molecular genetics of Leishmania parasites prompted us to develop methods of functional genetic complementation in Leishmania and apply them to the isolation of genes involved in the biosynthesis of the virulence determinant LPG, an abundant GPI-anchored polysaccharide. LPG1, the gene product identified by complementation of our R2D2 LPG- mutant, may be a glycosyltransferase responsible for the addition of galactofuranose to the nascent chain. As galactofuranose is not found in mammalian cells, inhibition of the addition of this sugar could be exploited for chemotherapy. Overall, the success of the functional complementation approach opens the way to the identification of a variety of genes involved in pathogenesis and parasitism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalBrazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas médicas e biológicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofísica ... [et al.]
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


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