Leishmania mexicana: molecular cloning and characterization of enolase

Wilfredo Quiñones, Priscila Peña, Maria Domingo-Sananes, Ana Cáceres, Paul A. M. Michels, Luisana Avilan, Juan Luis Concepción*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gene of Leishmania mexicana enolase was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli as an active enzyme; the protein was biochemically analyzed. This enolase shares with enolases from other trypanosomatids the presence of three atypical residues, each with a reactive side group, near the active site, already described for the enzyme from Trypanosoma brucei. The natural enzyme was purified, using a three-step procedure, from a cytosolic fraction of L. mexicana promastigotes. The kinetic properties of the purified recombinant enzyme were similar to those of the natural enzyme. Both the recombinant and natural enzyme were inhibited by inorganic pyrophosphate. Subcellular localization analysis after differential centrifugation showed that the enzyme activity is only associated with the cytosolic fraction. However, an apparently inactive form of enolase was detected by Western blots in the microsomal fraction. Digitonin treatment of parasites and immunofluorescence studies with permeabilized and non-permeabilized parasites showed that enolase is also associated with membranes and it was found at the external face of the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan/immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Membrane Permeability/drug effects
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Digitonin/pharmacology
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Indicators and Reagents/pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Leishmania mexicana/enzymology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase/biosynthesis
  • Rabbits
  • Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Sequence Alignment


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