Cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie Entamoeba histolytica pathogenesis: prospects for intervention.
ABSTRACT The protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica is the causative agent of amoebic dysentery. It is prevalent in developing countries that cannot prevent its fecal-oral spread and ranks second in worldwide causes of morbidity by parasitic infection. Improvements in sanitation would help curb disease spread. However, a lack of significant progress in this area has resulted in the need for a better understanding of the molecular and cellular biology of pathogenesis in order to design novel methods of disease treatment and prevention. Recent insight into the cellular mechanisms regulating virulence of E. histolytica has indicated that processes such as endocytosis, secretion, host cell adhesion and encystation play major roles in the infectious process. This review focuses on components of the molecular machinery that govern these cellular processes and their role in virulence, and discusses how an understanding of this might reveal opportunities to interfere with E. histolytica infection.
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ABSTRACT: In vitro interaction of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites with fibronectin (FN) induces redistribution of the amoebic fibronectin receptor (β1EhFNR). Trafficking of beta1 integrins is important for cell adhesion and migration in higher eukaryotes and requires the participation of Rab proteins. In E. histolytica, the machinery involved in integrin trafficking is not completely known. EhRab7 is a 24.5-kDa protein whose alignment with other Rab7 proteins demonstrated that it shared significant homology with Rab7 proteins from other organisms, including humans. Using different types of microscopy (fluorescence and confocal microscopy), it was established that Rab7 and the actin cytoskeleton participated in the mobilization of β1EhFNR in FN-stimulated trophozoites. β1EhFNR and Rab7 co-localized only in vesicular structures at 5 min, and at longer time (1 h), both co-localized in both plasma membrane and in vesicular structures; at the same time, Rab7 co-localized with specific actin structures (phagocytic vacuoles). At 5 h the β1EhFNR, Rab7, and actin co-localized at the plasma membrane, and only β1EhFNR and Rab7 decorated vesicles of different sizes. Actin and Rab7 co-localized in a cap-like structure at one end of the cell. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer and electron microscopy confirmed the close interaction between β1EhFNR and Rab7. Moreover, the use of a lysosome-specific marker (LysoTracker) and a Golgi-specific marker (NBD C(6)-ceramide) allowed us to establish that, at some point within the endocytic route, β1EhFNR and Rab7 co-localized within a lysosome-type organelle, but not a Golgi-like organelle, which indicated that this integrin-like molecule was returned to the plasma membrane via exocytic or secretory vesicles.Microscopy Research and Technique 03/2012; 75(3):285-93. DOI:10.1002/jemt.21056 · 1.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica is the causative agent of dysentery and liver abscess and is prevalent in developing countries. Adhesion to the host is critical to infection and is mediated by amoebic surface receptors. One such receptor, the Gal/GalNAc lectin, binds to galactose or N-acetylgalactosamine residues on host components and consists of heavy (Hgl), light (Lgl) and intermediate (Igl) subunits. The mechanism by which the lectin assembles into a functional complex is not known. The parasite also relies on cholesterol-rich domains (lipid rafts) for adhesion. Therefore, it is conceivable that rafts regulate the assembly or function of the lectin. To test this, amoebae were loaded with cholesterol and lipid rafts were purified and characterised. Western blotting showed that cholesterol loading resulted in co-compartmentalisation of all three subunits in rafts. This co-compartmentalisation was accompanied by an increase in the ability of the amoebae to bind to host cells in a galactose-specific manner, suggesting that there is a correlation between location and function of the Gal/GalNAc lectin. Cholesterol loading did not increase the surface levels of the lectin subunits. Therefore, the cholesterol-induced increase in adhesion was not the result of externalisation of an internal pool of subunits. A mutant cell line that modestly responded to cholesterol with a slight increase in adhesion exhibited only a slight enrichment of Hgl and Lgl in rafts. This supports the connection between location and function of the Gal/GalNAc lectin. Actin can also influence the interaction of proteins with rafts. Therefore, the sub-membrane distribution of the lectin subunits was also assessed after treatment with an actin depolymerising agent, cytochalasin D. Cytochalasin D-treatment had no effect on the submembrane distribution of the subunits, suggesting that actin does not prevent the association of lectin subunits with rafts in this system. Together, these data provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating the location and function of this adhesin.International journal for parasitology 11/2011; 41(13-14):1409-19. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpara.2011.10.003 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) enzymes are eukaryotic oxidoreductases that catalyze oxidation, reduction and isomerization of disulfide bonds in polypeptide substrates. Here, we report the biochemical characterization of a PDI enzyme from the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica (EhPDI). Our results show that EhPDI behaves mainly as an oxidase/isomerase and can be inhibited by bacitracin, a known PDI inhibitor; moreover, it exhibits chaperone-like activity. Albeit its physiological role in the life style of the parasite (including virulence and survival) remains to be studied, EhPDI could represent a potential drug target for anti-amebic therapy.Experimental Parasitology 02/2011; 128(1):76-81. DOI:10.1016/j.exppara.2011.02.009 · 1.86 Impact Factor