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REVIEW: Structure, Functions, and Biosynthesis of Glycoconjugates of Leishmania spp. Cell Surface

N. M. Novozhilova* and N. V. Bovin

Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, 117997 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 330-5592; E-mail: bovin@carb.ibch.ru; nnovogilov@gmail.com

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 26, 2009; Revision received December 26, 2009
Cell surface of leishmaniasis causal agent, a parasitic member of Protozoa of Leishmania genus, is covered by thick glycocalix consisting of various phosphatidylinositol-anchored molecules. This review deals with the structure and biosynthesis of the main phosphoglycans and glycoproteins of Leishmania cell surface, many of which incorporate the rare natural D-arabinopyranose, and the problem concerning the involvement of these molecules in support of Leishmania survival during their intricate life cycle is discussed.
KEY WORDS: D-arabinopyranose, Leishmania, glycosylphosphatidylinositol, lipophosphoglycan, glycosylinositol phospholipids, proteophosphoglycan

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297910060027