Several lipids and macromolecular lipoconjugates of Leishmania spp. have now been well characterized; however, the glycolipids of L. donovani have not been thoroughly examined. In the present study, 3 neutral and 3 phosphorylated glycolipids were detected in promastigote forms of the organism grown in a chemically defined medium. The fatty acid and sugar compositions of these glycolipids, isolated and purified by adsorption column chromatography and thin-layer chromatographic procedures, were identified and quantified by gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Myristate (14:0), palmitate (16:0), palmitoleate (16:1), stearate (18:0), oleate (18:1), and linoleate (18:2) were the major fatty acids in all 6 glycolipids. Arabinose, mannose, glucose, and galactose were detected in the glycolipids. The biochemical nature of these lipids suggested that the major components in the isolated preparations of the 6 glycolipids are diacylglycerophospholipids, distinct from the major precursors of macromolecular lipoconjugates such as the lipid anchors of cell surface antigens that have been reported. These appear to be terminal products of lipid biosynthesis in this parasite.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics