Leishmania parasites synthesize mannogens, a unique type of storage carbohydrate, from finely tuned interactions between synthesis and degradation by a family of mannosyltransferase/phosphorylases (MTPs) newly discovered by Sernee et al. The crucial roles of mannogen in regulating central carbon metabolism and in vivo virulence suggest the potential of MTPs as promising drug targets.
- dual-activity mannosyltransferase/phosphorylase
- horizontal gene transfer
- reservoir carbohydrate
- trypanosomatid protozoan parasite