[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term cultivation in a laboratory could reduce the virulence of Acanthamoeba. To identify virulence factors of Acanthamoeba, the authors compared the transcription profiles of long-term cultivated A. healyi (OLD) and three times mouse-brain passaged A. healyi (MBP) using microarray analysis and eukaryotic orthologous group (KOG) assignments. Microarray analysis revealed that 601 genes were up-regulated by mouse-brain passage. The results of real-time PCR of 8 randomly selected genes up-regulated in the MBP strain confirmed microarray analysis findings. KOG assignments showed relatively higher percentages of the MBP strain up-regulated genes in T article (signal transduction mechanism), O article (posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones), C article (energy production and conversion), and J article (translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis). In particular, the MBP strain showed higher expressions of cysteine protease and metalloprotease. A comparison of KOG assignments by microarray analysis and previous EST (expressed sequence tags) analysis showed similar populations of up-regulated genes. These results provide important information regarding the identification of virulence factors of pathogenic Acanthamoeba.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acanthamoeba infection is difficult to treat because of the resistance property of Acanthamoeba cyst against the host immune system, diverse antibiotics, and therapeutic agents. To identify encystation mediating factors of Acanthamoeba, we compared the transcription profile between cysts and trophozoites using microarray analysis. The DNA chip was composed of 12,544 genes based on expressed sequence tag (EST) from an Acanthamoeba ESTs database (DB) constructed in our laboratory, genetic information of Acanthamoeba from TBest DB, and all of Acanthamoeba related genes registered in the NCBI. Microarray analysis indicated that 701 genes showed higher expression than 2 folds in cysts than in trophozoites, and 859 genes were less expressed in cysts than in trophozoites. The results of real-time PCR analysis of randomly selected 9 genes of which expression was increased during cyst formation were coincided well with the microarray results. Eukaryotic orthologous groups (KOG) analysis showed an increment in T article (signal transduction mechanisms) and O article (posttranslational modification, protein turnover, and chaperones) whereas significant decrement of C article (energy production and conversion) during cyst formation. Especially, cystein proteinases showed high expression changes (282 folds) with significant increases in real-time PCR, suggesting a pivotal role of this proteinase in the cyst formation of Acanthamoeba. The present study provides important clues for the identification and characterization of encystation mediating factors of Acanthamoeba.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 12/2011; 49(4):341-7. DOI:10.3347/kjp.2011.49.4.341 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous study, we reported our discovery of Acanthamoeba contamination in domestic tap water; in that study, we determined that some Acanthamoeba strains harbor endosymbiotic bacteria, via our molecular characterization by mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (Mt DNA RFLP). Five (29.4%) among 17 Acanthamoeba isolates contained endosymbionts in their cytoplasm, as demonstrated via orcein staining. In order to estimate their pathogenicity, we conducted a genetic characterization of the endosymbionts in Acanthamoeba isolated from domestic tap water via 16S rDNA sequencing. The endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP3 and KA/WP4 evidenced the highest level of similarity, at 97% of the recently published 16S rDNA sequence of the bacterium, Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus. The endosymbionts of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP8 and KA/WP12 shared a 97% sequence similarity with each other, and were also highly similar to Candidatus Odyssella thessalonicensis, a member of the alpha-proteobacteria. The endosymbiont of Acanthamoeba sp. KA/WP9 exhibits a high degree of similarity (85-95%) with genus Methylophilus, which is not yet known to harbor any endosymbionts. This is the first report, to the best of our knowledge, to show that Methylophilus spp. can live in the cytoplasm of Acanthamoeba.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 12/2009; 47(4):337-44. DOI:10.3347/kjp.2009.47.4.337 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The virulence of Acanthamoeba can be attenuated by long-term in vitro cultivation, and can be recovered by serial mouse-brain passage via intranasal inoculation. Recovery is concomitant with changes in expression of virulence-related genes. To investigate the virulence factors of Acanthamoeba, expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from two kinds of cDNA libraries-long-term in vitro cultivated A. healyi (OLD) and three times mouse-brain passaged A. healyi (MBP)-were compared using reciprocal BLAST analysis, eukaryotic orthologous groups (KOG) assignment, and gene annotation. A total of 938 (OLD) and 1033 (MBP) ESTs were sequenced and resulted in the assembling of 718 OLD and 833 MBP unique sequences. Comparison of the KOG analysis revealed a relatively higher percentage of MBP ESTs in genes related to transcription (K group), amino acid transport and metabolism (E group), coenzyme transport and metabolism (H group), and secondary metabolites biosynthesis, transport and metabolism (Q group). However, a higher percentage of unidentified MBP ESTs (57.9%) than OLD ESTs (28.9%) was evidence of the limited understanding of virulence-related factors of Acanthamoeba. Characterization of the genes expressed during brain passage in mice will be useful in clarifying the pathogenesis of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis by Acanthamoeba.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genus Acanthamoeba can cause severe infections such as granulomatous amebic encephalitis and amebic keratitis in humans. However, little genomic information of Acanthamoeba has been reported. Here, we constructed Acanthamoeba expressed sequence tags (EST) database (Acanthamoeba EST DB) derived from our 4 kinds of Acanthamoeba cDNA library. The Acanthamoeba EST DB contains 3,897 EST generated from amebae under various conditions of long term in vitro culture, mouse brain passage, or encystation, and downloaded data of Acanthamoeba from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Taxonomically Broad EST Database (TBestDB). The almost reported cDNA/genomic sequences of Acanthamoeba provide stand alone BLAST system with nucleotide (BLAST NT) and amino acid (BLAST AA) sequence database. In BLAST results, each gene links for the significant information including sequence data, gene orthology annotations, relevant references, and a BlastX result. This is the first attempt for construction of Acanthamoeba database with genes expressed in diverse conditions. These data were integrated into a database (http://www.amoeba.or.kr).
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 07/2009; 47(2):103-7. DOI:10.3347/kjp.2009.47.2.103 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three Acanthamoeba isolates (KA/E9, KA/E17, and KA/E23) from patients with keratitis were identified as Acanthamoeba triangularis by analysis of their molecular characteristics, a species not previously recognized to be a corneal pathogen. Epidemiologic significance of A. triangularis as a keratopathogen in Korea has been discussed. Morphologic features of Acanthamoeba cysts were examined under a microscope with differential interference contrast (DIC) optics. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the ocular isolates KA/E9, KA/E17, and KA/E23 were digested with restriction enzymes, and the restriction patterns were compared with those of reference strains. Complete nuclear 18S and mitochondrial (mt) 16S rDNA sequences were subjected to phylogenetic analysis and species identification. mtDNA RFLP of 3 isolates showed very similar patterns to those of SH621, the type strain of A. triangularis. 16S and 18S rDNA sequence analysis confirmed 3 isolates to be A. triangularis. 18S rDNA sequence differences of the isolates were 1.3% to 1.6% and those of 16S rDNA, 0.4% to 0.9% from A. triangularis SH621. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report, confirmed by 18S and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, of keratitis caused by A. triangularis of which the type strain was isolated from human feces. Six isolates of A. triangularis had been reported from contaminated contact lens cases in southeastern Korea.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 10/2008; 46(3):157-64. DOI:10.3347/kjp.2008.46.3.157 · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endosymbionts of 4 strains of Acanthamoeba (KA/E9, KA/E21, KA/E22, and KA/E23) isolated from the infected corneas of Korean patients were characterized via orcein stain, transmission electron microscopic examination, and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Double membrane-bound, rod-shaped endosymbionts were distributed randomly throughout both the trophozoites and cysts of each of Acanthamoeba isolates. The endosymbionts of KA/E9, KA/E22, and KA/E23 were surrounded by electron-translucent areas. No lacunae-like structures were observed in the endosymbionts of KA/E21, the bacterial cell walls of which were studded with host ribosomes. Comparative analyses of the 16S rDNA sequences showed that the endosymbionts of KA/E9, KA/E22 and KA/E23 were closely related to Caedibacter caryophilus, whereas the KA/E21 endosymbiont was assigned to the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides (CFB) phylum. In the 4 strains of Acanthamoeba, the hosts of the endosymbionts were identified as belonging to the Acanthamoeba castellanii complex, which corresponds to the T4 genotype. Acanthamoeba KA/E21 evidenced characteristics almost identical to those of KA/E6, with the exception of the existence of endosymbionts. The discovery of these endosymbionts from Acanthamoeba may prove essential to future studies focusing on interactions between the endosymbionts and the amoebic hosts.
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 04/2007; 45(1):1-9. DOI:10.3347/kjp.2007.45.1.1 · 1.15 Impact Factor