Leishmania major proteophosphoglycan is expressed by amastigotes and has an immunomodulatory effect on macrophage function

Aline Piani, Thomas Ilg, Andrew G. Elefanty, Joan Curtis, Emanuela Handman

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Proteophosphoglycan (PPG) is a newly described mucin-like glycoprotein found on the surface of Leishmania major promastigotes and secreted in the culture supernatant. We show here that antigenically similar PPGs are present in several Leishmania species. PPG could also be detected on the surface of amastigotes and in small, parasite-free vesicles infected macrophages. Because of the similarity of its carbohydrate chains to lipophosphoglycan, a parasite receptor for host macrophages, PPG was tested for binding to macrophages. PPG bound to macrophages and was internalized in a time- dependent manner. PPG inhibited the production of tumor necrosis factor-α and synergized with interferon-γ to stimulate the production of nitric oxide by macrophages. PPG may contribute to the binding of Leishmania to host cells and may play a role in modulating the biology of the infected macrophage at the early stage of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-599
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunomodulation
  • Lipophosphoglycan
  • Nitric oxide
  • Proteophosphoglycan
  • TNF-alpha

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