Glucose is toxic to glycosome-deficient trypanosomes

Tetsuya Furuya, Peter Kessler, Armando Jardim, Achim Schnaufer, Christopher Crudder, Marilyn Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Trypanosomatids, the etiologic agents of sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, and Chagas' disease, compartmentalize glycolysis within glycosomes, metabolic organelles related to peroxisomes. Here, we identify a trypanosome homologue of PEX14, one of the components of the peroxisomal protein import docking complex. We have used double-stranded RNA interference to target the PEX14 transcript for degradation. Glycosomal matrix protein import was compromised, and both glycolytic bloodstream stage parasites and mitochondrially respiring procyclic stage parasites were killed. Thus, unlike peroxisomes, glycosomes are essential organelles. Surprisingly, procyclic forms, which can grow in the absence of glucose, were killed by PEX14 RNA interference only when simple sugars were present. Thus, interference with glycosome protein import makes glucose toxic to trypanosomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14177-82
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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