Roles of cell adhesion and cytoskeleton activity in Entamoeba histolytica pathogenesis: a delicate balance.
ABSTRACT: The protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica colonizes the human large bowel. Invasion of the intestinal epithelium causes amoebic colitis and opens the route for amoebic liver abscesses. The parasite relies on its dynamic actomyosin cytoskeleton and on surface adhesion molecules for dissemination in the human tissues. Here we show that the galactose/N-acetylgalactosamine (Gal/GalNAc) lectin clusters in focal structures localized in the region of E. histolytica that contacts monolayers of enterocytes. Disruption of myosin II activity impairs the formation of these structures and renders the trophozoites avirulent for liver abscess development. Production of the cytoplasmic domain of the E. histolytica Gal/GalNAc lectin in engineered trophozoites causes reduced adhesion to enterocytes. Intraportal delivery of these parasites to the liver leads to the formation of a large number of small abscesses with disorganized morphology that are localized in the vicinity of blood vessels. The data support a model for invasion in which parasite motility is essential for establishment of infectious foci, while the adhesion to host cells modulates the distribution of trophozoites in the liver and their capacity to migrate in the hepatic tissue.
Project description:Entamoeba histolytica is a food- and waterborne parasite that causes amebic dysentery and amoebic liver abscesses. Adhesion is one of the most important virulence functions as it facilitates motility, colonization of host, destruction of host tissue, and uptake of nutrients by the parasite. The parasite cell surface adhesin, the Gal/GalNAc lectin, facilitates parasite-host interaction by binding to galactose or N-acetylgalactosamine residues on host components. It is composed of heavy (Hgl), intermediate (Igl), and light (Lgl) subunits. Igl is constitutively localized to lipid rafts (cholesterol-rich membrane domains), whereas Hgl and Lgl transiently associate with rafts. When all three subunits are localized to rafts, galactose-sensitive adhesion is enhanced. Thus, submembrane location may regulate the function of this adhesion. Rhomboid proteases are a conserved family of intramembrane proteases that also participate in the regulation of parasite-host interactions. In E. histolytica, one rhomboid protease, EhROM1, cleaves Hgl as a substrate, and knockdown of its expression inhibits parasite-host interactions. Since rhomboid proteases are found within membranes, it is not surprising that lipid composition regulates their activity and enzyme-substrate binding. Given the importance of the lipid environment for both rhomboid proteases and the Gal/GalNAc lectin, we sought to gain insight into the relationship between rhomboid proteases and submembrane location of the lectin in E. histolytica. We demonstrated that EhROM1, itself, is enriched in highly buoyant triton-insoluble membranes reminiscent of rafts. Reducing rhomboid protease activity, either pharmacologically or genetically, correlated with an enrichment of Hgl and Lgl in rafts. In a mutant cell line with reduced EhROM1 expression, there was also a significant augmentation of the level of all three Gal/GalNAc subunits on the cell surface and an increase in the molecular weight of Hgl and Lgl. Overall, the study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms governing parasite-host adhesion for this pathogen.
Project description:The protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes a wide spectrum of intestinal infections. In severe cases, the trophozoites can breach the mucosal barrier, invade the intestinal epithelium and travel via the portal circulation to the liver, where they cause hepatic abscesses, which can prove fatal if left untreated. The host Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM) plays a crucial role in amoebic invasion by triggering an array of cellular responses in the parasite, including induction of actin rich adhesion structures. Similar actin rich protrusive structures, known as 'invadosomes', promote chemotactic migration of the metastatic cancer cells and non-transformed cells by remodeling the ECM. Recent studies showed a central role for Rab GTPases, the master regulators of vesicular trafficking, in biogenesis of invadosomes. Here, we showed that fibronectin, a major host ECM component induced actin remodeling in the parasite in a Rab21 dependent manner. The focalized actin structures formed were reminiscent of the mammalian invadosomes. By using various approaches, such as immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, along with in vitro invasion assay and matrix degradation assay, we show that the fibronectin induced formation of amoebic actin dots depend on the nucleotide status of the GTPase. The ECM components, fibronectin and collagen type I, displayed differential control over the formation of actin dots, with fibronectin positively and collagen type I negatively modulating it. The cell surface adhesion molecule Gal/GalNAc complex was also found to impose additional regulation on this process, which might have implication in collagen type I mediated suppression of actin dots.
Project description:Entamoeba histolytica is an intestinal protozoan parasite that causes amoebiasis, including amebic dysentery and liver abscesses. E. histolytica invades host tissues by adhering onto cells and phagocytosing them depending on the adaptation and expression of pathogenic factors, including Gal/GalNAc lectin. We have previously reported that E. histolytica possesses multiple CXXC sequence motifs, with the intermediate subunit of Gal/GalNAc lectin (i.e., Igl) as a key factor affecting the amoeba's pathogenicity. The present work showed the effect of immunization with recombinant Igl on amebic liver abscess formation and the corresponding immunological properties.A prokaryotic expression system was used to prepare the full-length Igl and the N-terminal, middle, and C-terminal fragments (C-Igl) of Igl. Vaccine efficacy was assessed by challenging hamsters with an intrahepatic injection of E. histolytica trophozoites. Hamsters intramuscularly immunized with full-length Igl and C-Igl were found to be 92% and 96% immune to liver abscess formation, respectively. Immune-response evaluation revealed that C-Igl can generate significant humoral immune responses, with high levels of antibodies in sera from immunized hamsters inhibiting 80% of trophozoites adherence to mammalian cells and inducing 80% more complement-mediated lysis of trophozoites compared with the control. C-Igl was further assessed for its cellular response by cytokine-gene qPCR analysis. The productions of IL-4 (8.4-fold) and IL-10 (2-fold) in the spleen cells of immunized hamsters were enhanced after in vitro stimulation. IL-4 expression was also supported by increased programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 gene.Immunobiochemical characterization strongly suggests the potential of recombinant Igl, especially the C-terminal fragment, as a vaccine candidate against amoebiasis. Moreover, protection through Th2-cell participation enabled effective humoral immunity against amebic liver abscesses.
Project description:Entamoeba histolytica, an intestinal amoeba that causes dysentery and liver abscesses, acquires nutrients by engulfing bacteria in the colonic lumen and phagocytoses apoptotic cells during tissue invasion. In preliminary studies to identify ligands that stimulate amoebic phagocytosis, we used ovalbumin immobilized on latex particles as a potential negative control protein. Surprisingly, ovalbumin strongly stimulated E. histolytica particle uptake. Experiments using highly purified ovalbumin confirmed the specificity of this finding. The mechanism of particle uptake was actin-dependent, and the Entamoeba phagosome marker amoebapore A localised to ovalbumin-bead containing vacuoles. The most well described amoebic receptor is a Gal/GalNAc-specific lectin, but d-galactose had no effect on ovalbumin-stimulated phagocytosis. Ovalbumin has a single N-glycosylation site (Asn(292)) and is modified with oligomannose and hybrid-type oligosaccharides. We used both trifluoromethanesulfonic acid and N-glycanase to deglycosylate ovalbumin and tested the effect. Both methods substantially reduced the stimulatory effect of ovalbumin. Biotinylated ovalbumin bound the surface of fixed E. histolytica trophozoites saturably; furthermore, denatured ovalbumin and native ovalbumin both specifically inhibited ovalbumin-biotin binding, but deglycosylated ovalbumin had no effect. Collectively, these data suggest that E. histolytica has a previously unrecognised surface lectin activity that binds to carbohydrates on ovalbumin and stimulates phagocytosis.
Project description:Infection with the enteric protozoan Entamoeba histolytica is still a serious public health problem, especially in developing countries. Amoebic liver abscess (ALA) is the most common extraintestinal manifestation of the amoebiasis, and it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. ALA can be cured by metronidazole (MTZ); however, because it has poor activity against luminal trophozoites, 40-60% of treated patients get repeated episodes of invasive disease and require repeated treatments that can induce resistance to MTZ, this may emerge as an important public health problem. Anti-virulence strategies that impair the virulence of pathogens are one of the novel approaches to solving the problem. In this study, we found that low doses of curcumin (10 and 50 ?M) attenuate the virulence of E. histolytica without affecting trophozoites growth or triggering liver injury. Curcumin (CUR) decreases the expression of genes associated with E. histolytica virulence (gal/galnac lectin, ehcp1, ehcp5, and amoebapore), and is correlated with significantly lower amoebic invasion. In addition, oxidative stress is critically involved in the etiopathology of amoebic liver abscess; our results show no changes in mRNA expression levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) after E. histolytica infection, with or without CUR. This study provides clear evidence that curcumin could be an anti-virulence agent against E. histolytica, and makes it an attractive potential starting point for effective treatments that reduce downstream amoebic liver abscess.
Project description:One of the hallmarks of amoebic colitis is the detection of Entamoeba histolytica (Eh) trophozoites with ingested erythrocytes. Therefore, erythrophagocytosis is traditionally considered as one of the most important criteria to identify the pathogenic behavior of the amoebic trophozoites. Phagocytosis is an essential process for the proliferation and virulence of this parasite. Phagocytic cargo, upon internalization, follows a defined trafficking route to amoebic lysosomal degradation machinery. Here, we demonstrated the role of EhRab35 in the early and late phases of erythrophagocytosis by the amoeba. EhRab35 showed large vacuolar as well as punctate vesicular localization. The spatiotemporal dynamics of vacuolar EhRab35 and its exchange with soluble cytosolic pool were monitored by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. Using extensive microscopy and biochemical methods, we demonstrated that upon incubation with RBCs EhRab35 is recruited to the site of phagocytic cups as well as to the nascent phagosomes that harbor Gal/GalNAc lectin and actin. Overexpression of a dominant negative mutant of EhRab35 reduced phagocytic cup formation and thereby reduced RBC internalization, suggesting a potential role of the Rab GTPase in the cup formation. Furthermore, we also performed a phagosomal maturation assay and observed that the activated form of EhRab35 significantly increased the rate of RBC degradation. Interestingly, this mutant also significantly enhanced the number of acidic compartments in the trophozoites. Taken together, our results suggest that EhRab35 is involved in the initial stage of phagocytosis as well as in the phagolysosomal biogenesis in E. histolytica and thus contributes to the pathogenicity of the parasite.
Project description:Entamoeba histolytica virulence is related to a number of amebic components (lectins, cysteine proteinases, and amebapore) and host factors, such as intestinal bacterial flora. Trophozoites are selective in their interactions with bacteria, and the parasite recognition of glycoconjugates plays an important role in amebic virulence. Long-term monoxenic cultivation of pathogenic E. histolytica trophozoites, strains HK-9 or HM-1:IMSS, with Escherichia coli serotype O55, which binds strongly to the Gal/GalNAc amebic lectin, markedly reduced the trophozoites' adherence and cytopathic activity on cell monolayers of baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells. Specific probes prepared from E. histolytica lectin genes as well as antibodies directed against the light (35-kDa) and heavy (170-kDa) subunits of the Gal/GalNAc lectin revealed a decrease in the transcription and expression of the light subunit in trophozoites grown monoxenically with E. coli O55. This effect was not observed when E. histolytica was grown with E. coli 346, a mannose-binding type I pilated bacteria. Our results suggest that the light subunit of the amebic lectin is involved in the modulation of parasite adherence and cytopathic activity.
Project description:Invasion of the colon wall by Entamoeba histolytica during amoebic dysentery entails migration of trophozoites through tissue layers that are rich in extracellular matrix. Transcriptional silencing of the E. histolytica surface metalloprotease EhMSP-1 produces hyperadherent less-motile trophozoites that are deficient in forming invadosomes. Reversible protein phosphorylation is often implicated in regulation of cell motility and invadosome formation. To identify such intermediaries of the EhMSP-1-silenced phenotype, here we compared the phosphoproteomes of EhMSP-1-silenced and vector control trophozoites by using quantitative tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Six proteins were found to be differentially phosphorylated in EhMSP-1-silenced and control cells, including EhCoactosin, a member of the ADF/cofilin family of actin-binding proteins, which was more frequently phosphorylated at serine 147. Regulated overexpression of wild-type, phosphomimetic, and nonphosphorylatable EhCoactosin variants was used to test if phosphorylation functions in control of E. histolytica actin dynamics. Each of the overexpressed proteins colocalized with F-actin during E. histolytica phagocytosis. Nonetheless, trophozoites overexpressing an EhCoactosin phosphomimetic mutant formed more and poorly coordinated cell membrane protrusions compared to those in control or cells expressing a nonphosphorylatable mutant, while trophozoites overexpressing nonphosphorylatable EhCoactosin were significantly more motile within a model of mammalian extracellular matrix. Therefore, although EhCoactosin's actin-binding ability appeared unaffected by phosphorylation, EhCoactosin phosphorylation helps to regulate amoebic motility. These data help to understand the mechanisms underlying altered adherence and motility in EhMSP-1-silenced trophozoites and lay the groundwork for identifying kinases and phosphatases critical for control of amoebic invasiveness.IMPORTANCE Invasive amoebiasis, caused by the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica, causes life-threatening diarrhea and liver abscesses, but, for unknown reasons, only approximately 10% of E. histolytica infections become symptomatic. A key requirement of invasion is the ability of the parasite to migrate through tissue layers. Here, we systematically looked for differences in protein phosphorylation between control parasites and a previously identified hyperadherent E. histolytica cell line that has reduced motility. We identified EhCoactosin, an actin-binding protein not previously known to be phosphoregulated, as one of the differentially phosphorylated proteins in E. histolytica and demonstrated that EhCoactosin phosphorylation functions in control of cell membrane dynamics and amoebic motility. This and the additional differentially phosphorylated proteins reported lay the groundwork for identifying kinases and phosphatases that regulate tissue invasiveness.
Project description:Galactose and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (Gal/GalNAc) inhibitable lectin of Entamoeba histolytica, a common protozoan parasite, has roles in pathogenicity and induction of protective immunity in mouse models of amoebiasis. The lectin consists of heavy (Hgl), light (Lgl), and intermediate (Igl) subunits. Hgl has lectin activity and Lgl does not, but little is known about the activity of Igl. In this study, we assessed various regions of Igl for hemagglutinating activity using recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli. We identified a weak hemagglutinating activity of the protein. Furthermore, we found novel hemolytic and cytotoxic activities of the lectin, which resided in the carboxy-terminal region of the protein. Antibodies against Igl inhibited the hemolytic activity of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites. This is the first report showing hemagglutinating, hemolytic and cytotoxic activities of an amoebic molecule, Igl.
Project description:<i>Entamoeba histolytica</i> is an invasive enteric protozoan, whose infections are associated to high morbidity and mortality rates. However, only less than 10% of infected patients develop invasive amebiasis. The ability of <i>E. histolytica</i> to adapt to the intestinal microenvironment could be determinant in triggering pathogenic behavior. Indeed, during chronic inflammation, the vagus nerve limits the immune response through the anti-inflammatory reflex, which includes acetylcholine (ACh) as one of the predominant neurotransmitters at the infection site. Consequently, the response of <i>E. histolytica</i> trophozoites to ACh could be implicated in the establishment of invasive disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ACh on <i>E. histolytica</i> virulence. Methods include binding detection of ACh to plasma membrane, quantification of the relative expression of virulence factors by RT-PCR and western blot, evaluation of the effect of ACh in different cellular processes related to <i>E. histolytica</i> pathogenesis, and assessment of the capability of <i>E. histolytica</i> to migrate and form hepatic abscesses in hamsters. Results demonstrated that <i>E. histolytica</i> trophozoites bind ACh on their membrane and show a clear increase of the expression of virulence factors, that were upregulated upon stimulation with the neurotransmitter. ACh treatment increased the expression of L220, <i>Gal/GalNAc lectin</i> heavy subunit (170 kDa), <i>amebapore C</i>, cysteine proteinase 2 (<i>ehcp-a2</i>), and cysteine proteinase 5 (<i>ehcp-a5</i>). Moreover, erythrophagocytosis, cytotoxicity, and actin cytoskeleton remodeling were augmented after ACh treatment. Likewise, by assessing the formation of amebic liver abscess, we found that stimulated trophozoites to develop greater hamster hepatic lesions with multiple granulomas. In conclusion, ACh enhanced parasite pathogenicity by upregulating diverse virulence factors, thereby contributing to disease severity, and could be linked to the establishment of invasive amebiasis.