Silencing genes by RNA interference in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.
ABSTRACT Experimental procedures using the RNA interference (RNAi) approach have recently emerged as a powerful tool for gene silencing in eukaryotic microbes for which gene replacement techniques have not yet been developed. Our group has recently explored RNAi to knock down gene-specific expression in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, through delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligonucleotides by the soaking approach. Standardized conditions for the soaking of E. histolytica trophozoites with siRNAs result in highly specific and significant silencing of parasite cognate genes. Real-time PCR analysis indicates that a 16-hour treatment with siRNAs usually results in half-extinction of target messenger RNA. Furthermore, Western blot analysis of trophozoite crude extracts with the use of specific antibodies shows a similar reduction of cognate protein levels after siRNA treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica is a major health threat to people in developing countries, where it causes invasive diarrhea and liver abscesses. The study of this important human pathogen has been hindered by a lack of tools for genetic manipulation. Recently, a number of genetic approaches based on variations of the RNAi method have been successfully developed and cloning of endogenous small-interfering RNAs from E. histolytica revealed an abundant population of small RNAs with an unusual 5´-polyphosphate structure. However, little is known about the implications of these findings to amebic biology or the mechanisms of gene silencing in this organism. In this article we review the literature relevant to RNAi in E. histolytica, discuss its implications for advances in gene silencing in this organism and outline potential future directions towards understanding the repertoire of RNAi and its impact on the biology of this deep-branching eukaryotic parasite.Future Microbiology 01/2011; 6(1):103-17. · 4.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica represents one of the leading causes of parasitic death worldwide. Although identified as the causative agent of amebiasis since 1875, the molecular mechanisms by which the parasite causes disease are still not fully understood. Studying Entamoeba reveals insights into a eukaryotic cell that differs in many ways from better-studied model organisms. Thus, much can be learned from this protozoan parasite on evolution, cell biology, and RNA biology. In this review we discuss selected research highlights in Entamoeba research and focus on the development of molecular biological techniques to study this pathogen. We end by highlighting some of the many questions that remain to be answered in order to fully understand this important human pathogen.Current opinion in microbiology 06/2012; 15(4):469-75. · 7.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Encystment is an essential process in the biological cycle of the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica. In the present study, we evaluated the participation of E. histolytica Gln6Pi in the formation of amoeba cyst-like structures by RNA interference assay. Amoeba trophozoites transfected with two Gln6Pi siRNAs reduced the expression of the enzyme in 85%, which was confirmed by western blot using an anti-Gln6Pi antibody. The E. histolytica Gln6Pi knockdown with the mix of both siRNAs resulted in the loss of its capacity to form cyst-like structures (CLSs) and develop a chitin wall under hydrogen peroxide treatment, as evidenced by absence of both resistance to detergent treatment and calcofluor staining. Thus, only 5% of treated trophozoites were converted to CLS, from which only 15% were calcofluor stained. These results represent an advance in the understanding of chitin biosynthesis in E. histolytica and provide insight into the encystment process in this parasite, which could allow for the developing of new control strategies for this parasite.BioMed research international. 01/2013; 2013:758341.