Leishmania mexicana amazonensis: plasma membrane adenine nucleotide translocator and chemotaxis

Exp Parasitol. 2008 Mar;118(3):408-19. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2007.10.010. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


Leishmania cannot synthesize purines de novo and rely on their host to furnish these compounds. To accomplish this, they possess multiple purine nucleoside and nucleobase transporters. Subcellular fractionation, immunohistochemical localization with anti-adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT) antibodies and surface biotinylation show that the mitochondrial ANT is also present in the plasma membrane of both promastigotes and amastigotes. Leishmania, however, do not appear to rely on this transporter to supplement their purine or energy requirements via preformed ATP from its host. Rather, Leishmania appear to use the plasma membrane ANT as part of a chemotaxis response. ATP is a chemorepellant for Leishmania and cells treated with atractyloside, an inhibitor of ANT, no longer exhibit negative chemotaxis for this compound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Chemotaxis / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leishmania mexicana / chemistry
  • Leishmania mexicana / physiology*
  • Leishmania mexicana / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases / analysis
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases / immunology
  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases / physiology*


  • Mitochondrial ADP, ATP Translocases