Encystment Induces Down-Regulation of an Acetyltransferase-Like Gene in Acanthamoeba castellanii

Type Article
Date 2020-05
Language English
Author(s) Rolland Steven1, Mengue Luce1, Noël CyrilORCID2, Crapart Stéphanie1, Mercier Anne1, Aucher Willy1, Héchard Yann1, Samba-Louaka Ascel1
Affiliation(s) 1 : UMR CNRS 7267 Ecologie et Biologie des Interactions, Université de Poitiers, Pôle Biologie-Santé, Bât. B36/B37, 1 rue Georges Bonnet, TSA 51106, 86073 Poitiers Cedex 9, France
2 : IFREMER-IRSI-Service de Bioinformatique (SeBiMER), Centre Bretagne, 1625 Route de Sainte-Anne, 29280 Plouzane, France
Source Pathogens (2076-0817) (MDPI AG), 2020-05 , Vol. 9 , N. 5 , P. 321 (12p.)
DOI 10.3390/pathogens9050321
WOS© Times Cited 4
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the International Meeting on the Biology and Pathogenicity of Free-Living Amoebae (FLAM2019)
Keyword(s) Acanthamoeba castellanii, encystment, N-acetyltransferase, lateral gene transfer, free-living amoebae

Acanthamoeba castellanii is a ubiquitous free-living amoeba. Pathogenic strains are causative agents of Acanthamoeba keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis. In response to adverse conditions, A. castellanii differentiate into cysts, which are metabolically inactive and resistant cells. This process, also named encystment, involves biochemical and genetic modifications that remain largely unknown. This study characterizes the role of the ACA1_384820 Acanthamoeba gene during encystment. This gene encodes a putative N-acetyltransferase, belonging to the Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) family. We showed that expression of the ACA1_384820 gene was down-regulated as early as two hours after induction of encystment in A. castellanii. Interestingly, overexpression of the ACA1_384820 gene affects formation of cysts. Unexpectedly, the search of homologs of ACA1_384820 in the Eukaryota gene datasets failed, except for some species in the Acanthamoeba genus. Bioinformatics analysis suggested a possible lateral acquisition of this gene from prokaryotic cells. This study enabled us to describe a new Acanthamoeba gene that is down-regulated during encystment.

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