Functional expression of two glucose transporter isoforms from the parasitic protozoan Leishmania enriettii

Chris K. Langford, Brian M. Little, Michael P. Kavanaugh, Scott M. Landfear

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28 Scopus citations


The parasitic protozoan Leishmania enriettii contains a family of tandemly repeated genes, designated Pro-1, that encode proteins with significant sequence similarity to mammalian facilitative glucose transporters. Pro-1 mRNAs are expressed almost exclusively in the promastigote or insect stage of the parasite life cycle. The Pro-1 tandem repeat encodes two isoforms of the putative transporter, iso-1 and iso-2, which have identical predicted amino acid sequences except for their NH2-terminal hydrophilic domains. We have now expressed both iso-1 and iso-2 by microinjecting their RNAs into Xenopus oocytes and assaying these oocytes for transport of various radiolabeled ligands. Both iso-1 and iso-2 transport [3H]2-deoxy-D-glucose, confirming that each protein is a bona fide glucose transporter. Each isoform also transports fructose and, to a much lesser degree, mannose. Compounds which inhibit 2-deoxy-D-glucose transport in L. enriettii promastigotes also inhibit transport in the microinjected oocytes expressing each isoform, indicating that the substrate specificities and pharmacological properties of each isoform are similar to those measured for 2-deoxy-D-glucose transport in intact parasites. The K(m) for transport of 2-deoxyglucose in oocytes expressing iso-1 is similar to that for oocytes expressing iso-2. These results reveal that both transporter isoforms have closely related functional properties and that the difference in their structures may serve some other purpose such as differential subcellular localization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17939-17943
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 8 1994


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