Expression analysis of Entamoeba invadens profilins in encystation and excystation

Asao Makioka, Masahiro Kumagai, Kazushi Hiranuka, Seiki Kobayashi, Tsutomu Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Cell motility by actin cytoskeleton is essential for differentiation processes of excystation and encystation of Entamoeba. We recently studied an actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin (Cfl) of Entamoeba invadens (Ei), and demonstrated its contribution to the encystation and excystation of E. invadens through actin cytoskeletal reorganization. Profilin is also an actin-binding protein but its function is different from that of Cfl in actin assembly. This study investigated E. invadens profilins in relation to encystation and excystation which were induced in axenic culture systems. A homology search of the E. invadens genome database and molecular cloning identified four profilins of the parasite named EiPFN1, EiPFN2, EiPFN3, and EiPFN4. There were also multiple genes of profilin in Entamoeba histolytica (Eh) and Entamoeba dispar (Ed), each of which had three profilins. A search for conserved domains revealed that these profilins of Entamoeba had actin, phosphoinositide, and poly-proline binding sites. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that EiPFN3 and EiPFN4 formed the same clades including EhPFN3 and EdPFN3, and EhPFN2 and EdPFN2, respectively, while EiPFN1 and EiPFN2 were separated from EhPFN1 and EdPFN1. Rabbit anti-EiPFN1 serum reacted with recombinant EiPFN3 and EiPFN4 but not EiPFN2, and also reacted with EiPFN in lysates of cysts and trophozoites. Immunofluorescence staining with this antiserum showed co-localization of EiPFN with actin beneath the cell membrane through the life stages and also showed cytoplasmic localization. Both proteins proved to be rich in pseudopodia of trophozoites. Real-time RT-PCR showed that the mRNA level of EiPFN1 and EiPFN4 in trophozoites was comparable but that of EiPFN2 and EiPFN3 was very low. During encystation, the mRNA expression of EiPFN1 and EiPFN4 increased remarkably in the early phase much higher than that of EiPFN2 and EiPFN3. Then, the expression of all four PFNs sharply decreased in the later phase. This was in contrast to the sharp decrease in the mRNA level of EiCfl-2 during encystation in our previous study. In cysts, EiPFN1 was most abundantly expressed and EiPFN4 was at a lower level, while the expressions of EiPFN2 and EiPFN3 were virtually absent. Following the induction of excystation, mRNA levels of EiPFN1, EiPFN2, and EiPFN4 in cysts 5 h after induction were significantly higher than those in cysts before induction, while that of EiPFN3 was slightly higher than before induction. The mRNAs of EiPFN1 increased most extensively when the excystation was induced in the presence of cytochalasin D. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) to EiPFN1 inhibited both encystation and excystation but not growth. These findings demonstrate different expression of EiPFNs and the contribution of EiPFN to the encystation and excystation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2095-2104
Number of pages10
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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