Sigrid C. Roberts

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The polyamine pathway of protozoan parasites has been successfully targeted in anti-parasitic therapies and is significantly different from that of the mammalian host. To gain knowledge into the metabolic routes by which parasites synthesize polyamines and their precursors, the arginase gene was cloned from Leishmania mexicana, and Deltaarg null mutants(More)
A knockout strain of Leishmania donovani lacking both ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) alleles has been created by targeted gene replacement. Growth of Deltaodc cells in polyamine-deficient medium resulted in a rapid and profound depletion of cellular putrescine pools, although levels of spermidine were relatively unaffected. Concentrations of trypanothione, a(More)
The polyamine biosynthetic enzyme, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (ADOMETDC) has been advanced as a potential target for antiparasitic chemotherapy. To investigate the importance of this protein in a model parasite, the gene encoding ADOMETDC has been cloned and sequenced from Leishmania donovani. The Delta adometdc null mutants were created in the(More)
During in vitro growth Leishmania chagasi promastigotes differentially express 3 classes of RNAs encoding the major surface protease (MSP) gp63 that can be distinguished by their unique 3' untranslated regions. Here we show that the three classes (logarithmic-specific, stationary-specific and constitutively expressed) are encoded by a family of at least 4(More)
All species of Leishmania express a major surface protease (Msp or gp63) that facilitates the interactions of the parasite with its environment at several steps in its life cycle. The msp gene family in Leishmania chagasi contains three classes of genes whose mRNAs are differentially expressed during parasite growth. Logarithmic phase (low infectivity)(More)
Molecular, biochemical and genetic characterization of ornithine decarboxylase, S -adenosylmethionine decarboxylase and spermidine synthase establishes that these polyamine-biosynthetic enzymes are essential for growth and survival of the agents that cause African sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis and malaria. These enzymes exhibit features(More)
Leishmania sp. protozoa contain an abundant surface protease (gp63) that is important for the virulence of the parasite. We found that the average amount of gp63 expressed by Leishmania donovani chagasi promastigotes increases 6-11-fold as they develop from a less infectious form in logarithmic phase to a highly infectious form during stationary phase of(More)
A number of anticancer and antiparasitic drugs are postulated to target the polyamine biosynthetic pathway and polyamine function, but the exact mode of action of these compounds is still being elucidated. To establish whether polyamine analogs specifically target enzymes of the polyamine pathway, a model was developed using strains of the protozoan(More)
Classical activation of macrophages infected with Leishmania species results in expression and activation of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) leading to intracellular parasite killing. Macrophages can contrastingly undergo alternative activation with increased arginase activity, metabolism of arginine along the polyamine pathway, and consequent parasite(More)
The polyamine biosynthetic pathway of protozoan parasites has been validated as a target in antiparasitic chemotherapy. To investigate this pathway at the biochemical and genetic level in a model parasite, the gene encoding spermidine synthase (SPDSYN), a key polyamine biosynthetic enzyme, has been cloned and sequenced from Leishmania donovani. The L.(More)