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Identification of differentially expressed genes in virulent and nonvirulent Entamoeba species: potential implications for amebic pathogenesis.


ABSTRACT: Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that causes colitis and liver abscesses. Several Entamoeba species and strains with differing levels of virulence have been identified. E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS is a virulent strain, E. histolytica Rahman is a nonvirulent strain, and Entamoeba dispar is a nonvirulent species. We used an E. histolytica DNA microarray consisting of 2,110 genes to assess the transcriptional differences between these species/strains with the goal of identifying genes whose expression correlated with a virulence phenotype. We found 415 genes expressed at lower levels in E. dispar and 32 genes with lower expression in E. histolytica Rahman than in E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS. Overall, 29 genes had decreased expression in both the nonvirulent species/strains than the virulent E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS. Interestingly, a number of genes with potential roles in stress response and virulence had decreased expression in either one or both nonvirulent Entamoeba species/strains. These included genes encoding Fe hydrogenase (9.m00419), peroxiredoxin (176.m00112), type A flavoprotein (6.m00467), lysozyme (6.m00454), sphingomyelinase C (29.m00231), and a hypothetical protein with homology to both a Plasmodium sporozoite threonine-asparagine-rich protein (STARP) and a streptococcal hemagglutinin (238.m00054). The function of these genes in Entamoeba and their specific roles in parasite virulence need to be determined. We also found that a number of the non-long-terminal-repeat retrotransposons (EhLINEs and EhSINEs), which have been shown to modulate gene expression and genomic evolution, had lower expression in the nonvirulent species/strains than in E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS. Our results, identifying expression profiles and patterns indicative of a virulence phenotype, may be useful in characterizing the transcriptional framework of virulence.

SUBMITTER: MacFarlane RC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1346599 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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