Characterisation of a new Leishmania META gene and genomic analysis of the META cluster

Camila S Ramos, Fernando A L Franco, Deborah F Smith, Silvia R B Uliana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The META1 gene of Leishmania is upregulated in metacyclic promastigotes and encodes a 12 kDa virulence-related protein, conserved in all Leishmania species analysed. In this study, the genomic region adjacent to the Leishmania amazonensis META1 gene was characterised and compared to the Leishmania major META1 locus as well as to syntenic loci identified in Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi. Three new genes expressed with increased abundance of steady state mRNA in L. amazonensis promastigotes were identified, two of which are upregulated in stationary phase promastigotes, sharing the pattern of expression previously described for the META1 mRNA. One of these new genes, named META2, encodes a polypeptide of 444 amino acid residues with a repetitive structure showing three repeats of the META domain (defined as a small domain family found in the Leishmania META1 protein and in bacterial proteins hypothetically secreted and/or implicated in motility) and a carboxyl-terminal region similar to several putative calpain-like proteins of Trypanosoma and Leishmania.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-9
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS microbiology letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calpain
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Order
  • Genes, Protozoan
  • Leishmania
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Protozoan
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology
  • Synteny
  • Trypanosoma
  • Virulence Factors

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