Leishmania occurs in several developmental forms and thus undergoes complex cell differentiation events during its life-cycle. Those are required to allow the parasite to adapt to the different environmental conditions. The sequencing of the genome of L. major has facilitated the identification of the parasite’s vast arsenal of proteolytic enzymes, a few of which have already been carefully studied and found to be important for the development and virulence of the parasite. This review focuses on these peptidases and their role in the cellular differentiation of Leishmania through their key involvement in a variety of degradative pathways in the lysosomal and autophagy networks.
Besteiro, S., Williams, R., Coombs, G., & Mottram, J. (2007). Protein turnover and differentiation in Leishmania. International Journal for Parasitology, 37(10), 1063–1075. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.03.008