The role of GlcNAc-PI-de-N-acetylase gene by gene knockout through homologous recombination and its consequences on survival, growth and infectivity of Leishmania major in in vitro and in vivo conditions

Acta Trop. 2016 Feb:154:63-72. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2015.10.025. Epub 2015 Nov 10.


At present, there are no efficacious vaccines or effective drugs against leishmaniasis; therefore new and innovative control methods are urgently required. One way to achieve this important goal is through using reverse genetic engineering to evaluate important enzymes, proteins and macromolecules. One of the most important enzymes for Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthetic pathways is GlcNAc-PI-de-N-acetylase (GPI12). The molecular constructs were cloned in Escherichia coli strain Top 10 and confirmed by molecular methods and were transfected by electroporation into Leishmania major. We demonstrated that two alleles of the GPI12 gene in L. major were successfully removed and enabling the generation of a null mutant, which supports the idea that GPI12 is not an essential gene for the growth and survival of Leishmania and the homozygous knockouts of Leishmania are able to survive. We were able to produce a mutant parasite that caused no damaged to the host. Further investigations are essential to check the safety profile in laboratory animals.

Keywords: GPI12; Leishmaniasis; Null mutant; Reverse genetic engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases / genetics
  • Amidohydrolases / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Female
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Genotype
  • Homologous Recombination*
  • Leishmania major / pathogenicity
  • Leishmania major / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Amidohydrolases
  • N-acetylglucosaminyl-phosphatidylinositol de-N-acetylase