Leishmania express a functional Cdc20 homologue

Tamar Listovsky, Michael Brandeis, Dan Zilberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Our knowledge concerning the mechanisms of cell cycle regulation in organisms belonging to the Trypanosometidae family is limited. Leishmania donovani are parasitic protozoa that cause kala azar, a fatal form of visceral leishmaniasis in humans. Here we provide evidence that the L. donovani genome contains a Cdc20 homologue. Cdc20 is a regulator of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) that mediates ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of key cell cycle regulators in eukaryotes. We show that L. donovani Cdc20 protein (LdCdc20p) can complement a lack of yeast Cdc20 protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, validating the functionality of LdCdc20p. Furthermore, we demonstrate cyclic expression of LdCdc20p and that it contains an active RXXL destruction motif, a distinctive feature of proteins targeted for proteasomal degradation by APC/C. Finally, in line with the proteasome mediating LdCdc20p degradation, promastigotes exposed to proteasome inhibitor display elevated LdCdc20p levels. Taken together our data indicate that Leishmania regulate their cell cycle by ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation mediated by the APC/C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle regulation
  • Leishmania
  • Proteasome


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