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The identification of aquaglyceroporins as uptake channels for arsenic and antimony shows how these toxic elements can enter the food chain, and suggests that food plants could be genetically modified to exclude arsenic while still accumulating boron and silicon.
The ubiquity of arsenic in the environment has led to the evolution of enzymes for arsenic detoxification. An initial step in arsenic metabolism is the enzymatic reduction of arsenate [As(V)] to arsenite [As(III)]. At least three families of arsenate reductase enzymes have arisen, apparently by convergent evolution. The properties of two of these are… (More)
The Leishmania major aquaglyceroporin, LmAQP1, is responsible for the transport of antimonite [Sb(III)], an activated form of Pentostam or Glucantime. Downregulation of LmAQP1 provides resistance to trivalent antimony compounds and increased expression of LmAQP1 in drug-resistant parasites can reverse the resistance. Besides metalloid transport, LmAQP1 is… (More)
BACKGROUND Trypanosoma brucei is a primitive parasitic protozoan that thrives in diverse environments such as the midgut of the tsetse fly and the blood of a mammalian host. For an adequate adaptation to these environments, the parasite's aquaglyceroporins play an important role. METHODS AND RESULTS In order to test their ability to transport trivalent… (More)
In the class Kinetoplastida, we find an order of parasitic protozoans classified as Trypanosomatids. Three major pathogens form part of this order, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, and Leishmania, which are responsible for disease and fatalities in millions of humans worldwide, especially in non-industrialized countries in tropical and subtropical… (More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which are small non-coding RNAs expressed by almost all metazoans, have key roles in the regulation of cell differentiation, organism development and gene expression. Thousands of miRNAs regulating approximately 60 % of the total human genome have been identified. They regulate genetic expression either by direct cleavage or by… (More)
Leishmania is a digenetic protozoan parasite causing leishmaniasis in humans. The different clinical forms of leishmaniasis are caused by more than twenty species of Leishmania that are transmitted by nearly thirty species of phlebotomine sand flies. Pentavalent antimonials (such as Pentostam or Glucantime) are the first line drugs for treating… (More)