The protozoan intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica infects millions of people worldwide and is capable of causing amebic dysentery and amebic liver abscess. The closely related species Entamoeba dispar colonizes many more individuals, but this organism does not induce disease. To identify molecular differences between these two organisms that may account for their differential ability to cause disease in humans, we used two-dimensional gel-based (DIGE) proteomic analysis to compare whole cell lysates of E. histolytica and E. dispar. We observed 141 spots expressed at a substantially (>5-fold) higher level in E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS than E. dispar and 189 spots showing the opposite pattern. Strikingly, 3 of 4 proteins consistently identified as different at a greater than 5-fold level between E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS and E. dispar were identical to proteins recently identified as differentially expressed between E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS and the reduced virulence strain E. histolytica Rahman. One of these was E. histolytica alcohol dehydrogenase 3 (EhADH3). We found that E. histolytica possesses a higher level of NADP-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activity than E. dispar and that some EhADH3 can be localized to the surface of E. histolytica. Episomal overexpression of EhADH3 in E. histolytica trophozoites resulted in only subtle phenotypic differences in E. histolytica virulence in animal models of amebic colitis and amebic liver abscess, making it difficult to directly link EhADH3 levels to virulence differences between E. histolytica and less-pathogenic Entamoeba.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases