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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Drug resistance analysis by next generation sequencing in Leishmania.

The use of next generation sequencing has the power to expedite the identification of drug resistance determinants and biomarkers and was applied successfully to drug resistance studies in Leishmania. This allowed the identification of modulation in gene expression, gene dosage alterations, changes in chromosome copy numbers and single nucleotide polymorphisms that correlated with resistance in Leishmania strains derived from the laboratory and from the field. An impressive heterogeneity at the population level was also observed, individual clones within populations often differing in both genotypes and phenotypes, hence complicating the elucidation of resistance mechanisms. This review summarizes the most recent highlights…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Defining the sequence requirements for the positioning of base J in DNA using SMRT sequencing.

Base J (ß-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil) replaces 1% of T in the Leishmania genome and is only found in telomeric repeats (99%) and in regions where transcription starts and stops. This highly restricted distribution must be co-determined by the thymidine hydroxylases (JBP1 and JBP2) that catalyze the initial step in J synthesis. To determine the DNA sequences recognized by JBP1/2, we used SMRT sequencing of DNA segments inserted into plasmids grown in Leishmania tarentolae. We show that SMRT sequencing recognizes base J in DNA. Leishmania DNA segments that normally contain J also picked up J when present in the plasmid, whereas control sequences…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Modulation of aneuploidy in Leishmania donovani during adaptation to different in vitro and in vivo environments and its impact on gene expression.

Aneuploidy is usually deleterious in multicellular organisms but appears to be tolerated and potentially beneficial in unicellular organisms, including pathogens. Leishmania, a major protozoan parasite, is emerging as a new model for aneuploidy, since in vitro-cultivated strains are highly aneuploid, with interstrain diversity and intrastrain mosaicism. The alternation of two life stages in different environments (extracellular promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes) offers a unique opportunity to study the impact of environment on aneuploidy and gene expression. We sequenced the whole genomes and transcriptomes of Leishmania donovani strains throughout their adaptation to in vivo conditions mimicking natural vertebrate and invertebrate host environments.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Resequencing of the Leishmania infantum (strain JPCM5) genome and de novo assembly into 36 contigs.

Leishmania parasites are the causative of leishmaniasis, a group of potentially fatal human diseases. Control strategies for leishmaniasis can be enhanced by genome based investigations. The publication in 2005 of the Leishmania major genome sequence, and two years later the genomes for the species Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania infantum were major milestones. Since then, the L. infantum genome, although highly fragmented and incomplete, has been used widely as the reference genome to address whole transcriptomics and proteomics studies. Here, we report the sequencing of the L. infantum genome by two NGS methodologies and, as a result, the complete genome assembly…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

In vitro selection of miltefosine resistance in promastigotes of Leishmania donovani from Nepal: genomic and metabolomic characterization.

In this study, we followed the genomic, lipidomic and metabolomic changes associated with the selection of miltefosine (MIL) resistance in two clinically derived Leishmania donovani strains with different inherent resistance to antimonial drugs (antimony sensitive strain Sb-S; and antimony resistant Sb-R). MIL-R was easily induced in both strains using the promastigote-stage, but a significant increase in MIL-R in the intracellular amastigote compared to the corresponding wild-type did not occur until promastigotes had adapted to 12.2 µM MIL. A variety of common and strain-specific genetic changes were discovered in MIL-adapted parasites, including deletions at the LdMT transporter gene, single-base mutations and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Species- and strain-specific adaptation of the HSP70 super family in pathogenic trypanosomatids.

All eukaryotic genomes encode multiple members of the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family, which evolved distinctive structural and functional features in response to specific environmental constraints. Phylogenetic analysis of this protein family thus can inform on genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive species-specific environmental adaptation. Here we use the eukaryotic pathogen Leishmania spp. as a model system to investigate the evolution of the HSP70 protein family in an early-branching eukaryote that is prone to gene amplification and adapts to cytotoxic host environments by stress-induced and chaperone-dependent stage differentiation. Combining phylogenetic and comparative analyses of trypanosomatid genomes, draft genome of…

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