Author(s): Taheri T, Salmanian AH, Gholami E, Doustdari F, Zahedifard F,
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Abstract Leishmania major (L. major) signal peptidase type I (SPase I) is an endopeptidase encoded by a single-copy gene. In all organisms, SPase I is responsible for removing the signal peptide from secretory pre-proteins and releasing mature proteins to cellular or extra-cellular space. In this study, the role of SPase I in L. major is investigated by gene deletion using homologous recombination (HR). The null mutant of SPase I was not possible to create, suggesting that SPase I is an essential gene for parasite survival. The obtained heterozygote mutant by disrupting one allele of SPase I in L. major showed significantly reduced level of infectivity in bone marrow-derived macrophages. In addition, the heterozygote mutants are unable to cause cutaneous lesion in susceptible BALB/c mice. This is the first report showing that SPase I may have an important role in Leishmania infectivity, e.g. in differentiation and survival of amastigotes. Apparently, the SPase I expression is not essential for in vitro growth of the parasite. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Exp Parasitol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination