Leishmania Metacaspase: An Arginine-Specific Peptidase

  • Ricardo Martin
  • Iveth Gonzalez
  • Nicolas Fasel
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1133)


The purpose of this chapter is to give insights into metacaspase of Leishmania protozoan parasites as arginine-specific cysteine peptidase. The physiological role of metacaspase in Leishmania is still a matter of debate, whereas its peptidase enzymatic activity has been well characterized. Among the different possible expression systems, metacaspase-deficient yeast cells (Δyca1) have been instrumental in studying the activity of Leishmania major metacaspase (LmjMCA). Here, we describe techniques for purification of LmjMCA and its activity measurement, providing a platform for further identification of LmjMCA substrates.

Key words

Leishmania Cysteine peptidase Arginine-specific peptidase Metacaspase Enzymatic assay Protease inhibitors 



The authors are grateful to the members of the Fasel’s group and to Dr. Frank Madeo who provided the pFM21 construct, which served as a control. This work was funded by the grants FNRS N° 3100A0-116665/1 and IZ70Z0-131421 to NF.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Martin
    • 1
  • Iveth Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Nicolas Fasel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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