[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.
BioMed Research International 01/2010; 2010:726045. · 2.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance of organisms to toxic agents is a survival mechanism fundamental for adaptation and evolution of life. As a counterpart,
drug resistance is a medical problem in cancer and infectious diseases, with not many alternatives available. Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia (syn. duodenalis or intestinalis), and Trichomonas vaginalis (Fig. 1) are anaerobic and microaerophilic pathogens capable of developing drug resistance. Over one billion individuals
worldwide harbor these and other anaerobic protozoa such as Blastocystis hominis, Cryptosporidium parvum, Isospora spp., Cyclospora spp., and Microsporidia (1). Most infected people live in poor countries. Unhygienic sanitary conditions and poor health education are the causes
for infectious protozoan prevalence, and they can be eradicated by implementing drainage, parasite-free water supply, and
sexual education for all people.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study presents morphological and biochemical evidence of programmed cell death (PCD) in Entamoeba histolytica induced by exposure of trophozoites to the aminoglycoside antibiotic G418. Morphological characteristics of PCD, including cell shrinkage, reduced cellular volume, nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation and vacuolization were observed, with preservation of trophozoite membrane integrity. PCD is orchestrated biochemically by alterations in intracellular ion fluxes. In G418-treated trophozoites, overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), decreased intracellular K+, increased cytosolic calcium, and decreased intracellular pH levels were observed. However, externalization of phosphatidylserine was not detected. These results suggest that amoebae can undergo PCD under stress conditions, and that this PCD shares several properties with PCD reported in mammals and in a variety of unicellular organisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Entamoeba histolytica EhrabB gene encodes for a Rab GTPase involved in phagocytosis. It is located at a virulence locus where the Ehcp112 gene is in the complementary strand at 332 bp of EhrabB start codon, suggesting a finely regulated transcription of both genes. However, the transcription regulation in this parasite is poorly understood.
To initiate the knowledge of EhrabB gene expression regulation, here we studied the structural characteristics of its gene promoter and its control transcription elements. In silico searches of the EhrabB 5'-flanking region revealed that it contains a motif similar to the upstream regulatory element 1 (URE1) of the E. histolytica hgl5 gene. It also has sequences with homology to C/EBP and GATA1 binding sites, and heat shock elements (HSE). Primer extension experiments revealed that EhrabB has at least four transcription initiation sites. The elements at the 5'-flanking region that drive EhrabB gene expression were detected and characterized using transitory transfected trophozoites with a plasmid carrying the CAT reporter gene. EhrabB transcription is negatively regulated by a sequence located between positions -491 to -428 with respect to the first transcription initiation site. We also showed that the URE1-like motif activates EhrabB transcription. In addition, heat shock activated the EhrabB promoter in episomal constructs and lead to an increase in de novo EhrabB transcription.
The data suggest that EhrabB transcription is controlled negatively by an unidentified sequence, but it is activated by an URE1-like motif. Our analyses also revealed the presence of activator HSE that function under stress.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amoebiasis is a major public health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. Although a number of antiamoebic agents are used for its treatment and the molecular targets of these drugs havebeen identified, the biochemical and physiological mechanisms that produce trophozoite death are little known. The present study dates the in vitro induction of programmed cell death (PCD) in E. histolytica by emetine. Morphologically, the emetine incubation reduces cytoplasmic volume, produce nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation, maintaining the plasma membrane integrity; biochemically, the morphological changes are in concordance with the overproduction of reactive oxygen species inside trophozoites. These results provide the first insight related the cellular mechanisms of emetine action.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multidrug resistance EhPgp1 gene is constitutively expressed in drug resistant trophozoites from Entamoeba histolytica. It has been demonstrated that two CCAAT/enhancer binding sites located in the EhPgp1 gene promoter control its transcriptional activation. However, functional assays of the 5' end of its promoter showed that region from -234 to -196 bp (38 bp) is also important for the EhPgp1 gene transcription. Here, we demonstrated that in the 38 bp region putative cis-activator sequences are located. In silico analysis showed the presence of GATA1, Gal4, Nit-2, and C/EBP consensus sequences. Additionally, we identified three specific DNA-protein complexes, which were competed by a C/EBP, GATA1, and HOX oligonucleotides. Finally, we partially purified three proteins of 64.4, 56.7, and 27.4 kDa. Further investigations are currently in progress to determine the identity of these nuclear factors and how they are interacting with the EhPgp1 gene promoter.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multidrug resistance EhPgp5 gene promoter is active in drug resistant clone C2 trophozoites and its activity increases when trophozoites are cultured in the presence of emetine, suggesting that the EhPgp5 gene shows an inducible drug dependent mechanism. We analyzed different promoter fragments to detect those regions that activate transcription in the presence of emetine. Trophozoites were transfected with p375Pgp5, p259Pgp5, p187Pgp5, and p76Pgp5 plasmids and incubated with different emetine concentrations. p375Pgp5 and p259Pgp5 plasmids were able to drive CAT expression in A and C2 trophozoites only in the presence of emetine. CAT activity was turned off in the absence of drug. Interestingly, no CAT activity was detected in the presence or in the absence of emetine with p187Pgp5 plasmid in which 59 bp were deleted at the 5' end of the EhPgp5 minimal promoter (p259Pgp5). These results suggest that the overexpression of the EhPgp5 gene is a consequence of transcriptional activation of the gene promoter by putative drug responsive elements, located within the -111 to -170 bp of the transcription initiation site.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this review we discuss the mechanisms and molecules involved in the multidrug resistance (MDR) of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Drug resistant mutants exhibited the main characteristics presented by the MDR mammalian cells. They showed cross-resistance to several unrelated drugs that is reverted by calcium channel blockers. MDR phenotype in E. histolytica is regulated at a transcriptional level by the EhPgp1 gene, which is constitutively expressed and by the EhPgp5 gene, whose expression is induced in the presence of the drug. Transcription factors participate in the expression regulation of these genes. After over transcription, the EhPgp genes are amplified, cooperating to produce the MDR phenotype. Post-transcriptional mechanisms such as mRNA stability seem to be involved in this phenomenon. As for other mdr gene products, the EhPGP5 protein functions as a chloride current inductor or as a regulator of cellular regulatory volume decrease.
Parasitology International 01/2003; 51(4):353-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we show the relevance of promoter regions (-74 to +24, -167 to -75 and -259 to -168 bp) in the transcriptional activation of the multidrug resistance gene EhPgp1 in Entamoeba histolytica, using mutated plasmids and transfection assays. We also demonstrate that both CCAAT/enhancer binding protein sites (-54 to -43 bp and -198 to -186 bp) are cis-activating elements of gene expression in the drug-resistant (clone C2) and -sensitive (clone A) trophozoites. Nuclear proteins from trophozoites of both clones and C/EBP sequences of the core promoter formed specific complexes, which were abolished by anti-human C/EBPbeta antibodies. UV cross-linking and Western blot assays revealed 25 and 65 kDa bands in urea treated and untreated proteins respectively. The nuclear factors that bind to C/EBP sites were semi-purified by affinity chromatography. They were immunodetected by anti-human C/EBPbeta antibodies and formed a specific complex with the C/EBP probe. The antibodies recognized proteins in the cytoplasm, nucleus and EhkO organelles in immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy experiments. Based on our results, we propose that the C/EBP site at -54 bp stabilizes the transcription pre-initiation complex, whereas the other site at -198 bp may be involved in the formation of a multiprotein complex, which provokes DNA folding and promotes the EhPgp1 gene transcription.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have studied the cellular location and the efflux pump function of the Entamoeba histolytica P-glycoproteins (EhPgps) in drug-sensitive and -resistant trophozoites. Polyclonal antibodies against the EhPgp384 polypeptide (375-759 amino acids) revealed a 147-kDa protein by Western blot. The band intensity correlated with the emetine-resistance of the trophozoites. Through the confocal microscope, using the anti-EhPgp384 and fluorescein secondary antibodies, the EhPgps were found in a complex vesicular network, in the plasma membrane and outside of the cells. Transmission electron microscopy assays confirmed that drug-resistant trophozoites presented four to five times more EhPgps than sensitive cells. Fluorescence co-localization experiments using rhodamine-123 (R123) and the anti-EhPgp384 antibodies suggested the interaction between EhPgps and the drug. R123 efflux kinetics evidenced that the emetine-resistant trophozoites displayed a drug efflux kinetic four times higher than the drug-sensitive trophozoites, which was reduced by verapamil in both cases. EhPgps may participate in avoiding drug accumulation in the trophozoites by two putative mechanisms: (1) the direct extrusion of the drug from the plasma membrane, and (2) an indirect transport mechanism in which the drug is trapped by EhPgps and concentrated within vesicles that drive the drug to the plasma membrane.
Microbial Drug Resistance 02/2002; 8(4):291-300. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica, the protozoan responsible for human amoebiasis, presents the multidrug resistant phenotype due to the expression of the E. histolytica P-glycoproteins EhPgpl and EhPgp5. Here, we studied the protein EhPgp5 encoded by the EhPgp5 gene in emetine-sensitive trophozoites transfected with the pEhNEOPgp5 plasmid carrying the EhPgp5 gene. The transfected trophozoites increased their drug resistance slightly, but became bigger and globular. To investigate other EhPgp5 functions further, we microinjected the EhPgp5 mRNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Microinjected oocytes expressed EhPgp5 protein in their membranes and exhibited an ion current not present in the control oocytes. The antisense EhPgp5AS transcript, co-injected with the EhPgp5 mRNA, abolished the exogenous current, showing its specificity. Exogenous current was outward during depolarizing pulses. Reduction of the extracellular Cl- concentration displayed a reversible decrease of the current amplitude. Niflumic acid, 4,4-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2, 2'-disulfonic acid, and other Cl- channel blockers abolished the exogenous current, which was poorly modified by verapamil and changes in osmolarity of the medium. Our results suggest that the EhPgp5 protein could function as a Cl- current inductor and as a coadjuvant factor to avoid drug accumulation in the cell.
Microbial Drug Resistance 02/2002; 8(1):15-26. · 2.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica presents the evolutionarily conserved multidrug-resistance (MDR) phenotype, discovered in mammalian cells. MDR cells overexpress the membrane P-glycoprotein, which excludes unrelated drugs from the cytoplasm. E. histolytica mutants exhibit cross-resistance to unrelated drugs, which are pumped out from the cytoplasm. In drug-resistant trophozoites, the constitutively expressed EhPg1 gene appears to be up-regulated by a C/EBP-like factor and a multiprotein complex that were not found in drug-sensitive trophozoites. The drug-induced EhPgp5 gene, on the other hand, appears to be up-regulated by AP-1 and HOX factors. Here we review the main physiological and molecular facts of the MDR phenotype in E. histolytica. Copyright 1999 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
Drug resistance updates: reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy 07/1999; 2(3):188-197. · 12.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present here the cloning and characterization of the EhPgp1 multidrug resistance gene promoter isolated from the Entamoeba histolytica drug-resistant mutant clone C2. The EhPgp1 promoter lacks the typical TATA box and the transcriptional initiation sequences described for other E. histolytica promoters. The major transcription initiation site of the EhPgp1 gene was located at the ATG start codon. The EhPgp1 core promoter located within the first 244 base pairs showed a higher chloramphenicol acetyltransferase expression in the transfected trophozoites of clone C2 than in those of the sensitive clone A. Gel shift assays revealed three specific DNA-protein complexes (Ia, IIa, and IIIc) using nuclear extracts from clone C2, whereas three main complexes (If, IIf, and IIg) were limited to clone A. Competition assays suggested the presence of C/EBP-like and OCT-like proteins in complexes Ia and IIa, respectively, probably involved in the expression of the EhPgp1 gene, whereas complex IIIc was competed by GATA-1, C/EBP, OCT, and HOX oligonucleotides. Thus, differential DNA-protein complexes may be formed by transcriptional factors involved in the regulation of the EhPgp1 gene expression.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/1998; 273(13):7277-84. · 4.65 Impact Factor