Atsushi Furukawa

National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (6)31.28 Total impact

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    Atsushi Furukawa · Kumiko Nakada-Tsukui · Tomoyoshi Nozaki
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    ABSTRACT: Phagocytosis plays a pivotal role in nutrient acquisition and evasion from the host defense systems in Entamoeba histolytica, the intestinal protozoan parasite that causes amoebiasis. We previously reported that E. histolytica possesses a unique class of a hydrolase receptor family, designated the cysteine protease-binding protein family (CPBF), that is involved in trafficking of hydrolases to lysosomes and phagosomes, and we have also reported that CPBF1 and CPBF8 bind to cysteine proteases or β-hexosaminidase α-subunit and lysozymes, respectively. In this study, we showed by immunoprecipitation that CPBF6, one of the most highly expressed CPBF proteins, specifically binds to α-amylase and γ-amylase. We also found that CPBF6 is localized in lysosomes, based on immunofluorescence imaging. Immunoblot and proteome analyses of the isolated phagosomes showed that CPBF6 mediates transport of amylases to phagosomes. We also demonstrated that the carboxyl-terminal cytosolic region of CPBF6 is engaged in the regulation of the trafficking of CPBF6 to phagosomes. Our proteome analysis of phagosomes also revealed new potential phagosomal proteins.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Infection and immunity
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    ABSTRACT: The transport of lysosomal proteins is, in general, mediated by mannose 6-phosphate receptors via carbohydrate modifications. Here, we describe a novel class of receptors that regulate the transport of lysosomal hydrolases in the enteric protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, which is a good model organism to investigate membrane traffic. A novel 110 kDa cysteine protease (CP) receptor (CP-binding protein family 1, CPBF1) was initially discovered by affinity co-precipitation of the major CP (EhCP-A5), which plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of E. histolytica. We demonstrated that CPBF1 regulates EhCP-A5 transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to lysosomes and its binding to EhCP-A5 is independent of carbohydrate modifications. Repression of CPBF1 by gene silencing led to the accumulation of the unprocessed form of EhCP-A5 in the non-acidic compartment and the mis-secretion of EhCP-A5, suggesting that CPBF1 is involved in the trafficking and processing of EhCP-A5. The CPBF represents a new class of transporters that bind to lysosomal hydrolases in a carbohydrate-independent fashion and regulate their trafficking, processing and activation and, thus, regulate the physiology and pathogenesis of E. histolytica.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Cellular Microbiology
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    Atsushi Furukawa · Kumiko Nakada-Tsukui · Tomoyoshi Nozaki
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    ABSTRACT: Lysozymes and hexosaminidases are ubiquitous hydrolases in bacteria and eukaryotes. In phagocytic lower eukaryotes and professional phagocytes from higher eukaryotes, they are involved in the degradation of ingested bacteria in phagosomes. In Entamoeba histolytica, which is the intestinal protozoan parasite that causes amoebiasis, phagocytosis plays a pivotal role in the nutrient acquisition and the evasion from the host defense systems. While the content of phagosomes and biochemical and physiological roles of the major phagosomal proteins have been established in E. histolytica, the mechanisms of trafficking of these phagosomal proteins, in general, remain largely unknown. In this study, we identified and characterized for the first time the putative receptor/carrier involved in the transport of the above-mentioned hydrolases to phagosomes. We have shown that the receptor, designated as cysteine protease binding protein family 8 (CPBF8), is localized in lysosomes and mediates transport of lysozymes and β-hexosaminidase α-subunit to phagosomes when the amoeba ingests mammalian cells or Gram-positive bacillus Clostridium perfringens. We have also shown that the binding of CPBF8 to the cargos is mediated by the serine-rich domain, more specifically three serine residues of the domain, which likely contains trifluoroacetic acid-sensitive O-phosphodiester-linked glycan modifications, of CPBF8. We further showed that the repression of CPBF8 by gene silencing reduced the lysozyme and β-hexosaminidase activity in phagosomes and delayed the degradation of C. perfringens. Repression of CPBF8 also resulted in decrease in the cytopathy against the mammalian cells, suggesting that CPBF8 may also be involved in, besides the degradation of ingested bacteria, the pathogenesis against the mammalian hosts. This work represents the first case of the identification of a transport receptor of hydrolytic enzymes responsible for the degradation of microorganisms in phagosomes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · PLoS Pathogens
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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance in parasitic protozoa is an obstacle to successful chemotherapy. Understanding how pathogens respond to drugs is crucial in preventing resistance. Previously, we have shown that in Entamoeba histolytica, methionine γ-lyase (EhMGL) downregulation results in trifluoromethionine resistance. The transcriptional response, however, of this parasite to the drug is not known. In this study, we used microarray analysis to determine whether additional genes are involved. The expression profiles of 9230 genes in wild-type and trifluoromethionine-resistant strains were compared. Episomal overexpression of EhBspA1 was performed to verify its role in trifluoromethionine resistance. The transcriptomes of a trifluoromethionine-resistant strain cultured with or without trifluoromethionine, an EhMGL gene-silenced strain, a strain with reduced susceptibility to metronidazole and a wild-type strain under cysteine-deprived conditions were compared to determine the specificity of the changes observed in the trifluoromethionine-resistant strain. The expression of 35 genes differed at least 3-fold between trifluoromethionine-resistant and wild-type strains. Some of the genes play roles in metabolism, the stress response and gene regulation. EhMGL and EhBspA1 were found to be highly downregulated and upregulated, respectively. Overexpression of EhBspA1 conferred partial resistance to trifluoromethionine. Comparative transcriptome analysis showed that genes modulated in trifluoromethionine-resistant strains were specific. E. histolytica has few known resistance mechanisms against drugs. In this study, we showed that aside from EhMGL downregulation, induction of EhBspA1 plays a role in trifluoromethionine resistance. We also showed a unique set of induced genes that could represent the signature profile of trifluoromethionine resistance in E. histolytica.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrion-related organelles, mitosomes and hydrogenosomes, are found in a phylogenetically broad range of organisms. Their components and functions are highly diverse. We have previously shown that mitosomes of the anaerobic/microaerophilic intestinal protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica have uniquely evolved and compartmentalized a sulfate activation pathway. Although this confined metabolic pathway is the major function in E. histolytica mitosomes, their physiological role remains unknown. In this study, we examined the phenotypes of the parasites in which genes involved in the mitosome functions were suppressed by gene silencing, and showed that sulfate activation in mitosomes is important for sulfolipid synthesis and cell proliferation. We also demonstrated that both Cpn60 and unusual mitochondrial ADP/ATP transporter (mitochondria carrier family, MCF) are important for the mitosome functions. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that the enzymes involved in sulfate activation, Cpn60, and mitochondrial carrier family were differentially distributed within the electron dense, double membrane-bounded organelles. The importance and topology of the components in E. histolytica mitosomes reinforce the notion that they are not "rudimentary" or "residual" mitochondria, but represent a uniquely evolved crucial organelle in E. histolytica.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2011 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    Gil M Penuliar · Atsushi Furukawa · Dan Sato · Tomoyoshi Nozaki
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the mechanism of trifluoromethionine resistance in Entamoeba histolytica and evaluate the impact of acquired drug resistance on virulence. Trifluoromethionine-resistant amoebae were selected in vitro and examined for cross-resistance to antiamoebic drugs, stability of resistance, methionine γ-lyase (MGL) activity, cell adhesion and virulence. Targeted gene silencing was performed to confirm the role of EhMGL. Trophozoites with a resistance index of 154 were obtained. The cells were susceptible to chloroquine, metronidazole, paromomycin and tinidazole, but remained resistant to trifluoromethionine in the absence of drug pressure. A complete lack of EhMGL activity accompanied by increased adhesion and decreased cytolysis were also observed. Silencing of the EhMGL genes resulted in trifluoromethionine resistance. This study provides the first demonstration of trifluoromethionine resistance in a parasitic protozoon. Repression of gene expression of drug targets represents a novel mechanism of resistance in E. histolytica. The information obtained from this work should help further development of trifluoromethionine derivatives that have lower chances of inducing resistance.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Publication Stats

76 Citations
31.28 Total Impact Points


  • 2011-2013
    • National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
    • Gunma University
      • Graduate School of Medicine
      Maebashi, Gunma, Japan