RESEARCH ARTICLE


Structures of Glycolipids Found in Trypanosomatids: Contribution to Parasite Functions



Eliana Barreto-Bergter*, Alane Beatriz Vermelho
Departamento de Microbiologia Geral, Instituto de Microbiologia Prof. Paulo de Góes (IMPPG), Centro de Ciências da Saúde (CCS) Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Bloco I, Ilha do Fundão, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


© 2010 Barreto-Bergter and Vermelho;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento de Microbiologia Geral, Instituto de Microbiologia Prof. Paulo de Góes (IMPPG), Centro de Ciências da Saúde (CCS) Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Bloco I, Ilha do Fundão, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Tel: 55(021)25626743; Fax: 55(021)25608344; E-mail: bassey69@yahoo.com


Abstract

Neutral monohexosylceramides (CMHs) globosides (globotriasyl ceramides), other glycosphingolipids (GSLs) and more complex structures such as glycoinositol-phospholipids(GIPLs) and glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors have been described in several members of the trypanosomatid family. These highly bioactive molecules are not only components of biological structures but also participants in host-parasite interactions such as macrophage invasion, antigenic presentation and signal transduction. Glycolipid structures have been studied using mass spectrometry (MS).This review describes a wide range of glycoconjugates with unique and complex structures that are present in several trypanosomatid species. Their structures are described in the context of their biological significance.

Keywords: Trypanosomatids, GSLs, GIPLs, GPI-anchor proteins, mass spectrometry.