* 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