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Exp Parasitol. 2004 Mar-Apr;106(3-4):95-102.

Molecular cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding a laminin-binding protein (AhLBP) from Acanthamoeba healyi.

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  • 1Department of Parasitology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Taegu 700-422, Republic of Korea.


Adherence of Acanthamoeba to host tissue is believed to be crucial in the establishment of amoebic keratitis or GAE. We have isolated a cDNA from a GAE-causing gymnoamoeba, Acanthamoeba healyi, encoding a protein that binds laminin by screening with a peptide G-specific DNA probe. The cDNA clone (AhLBP) was identified on the basis of sequence homology to the nonintegrin mammalian metastasis-associated 67-kDa laminin receptor (67-LR). The predicted amino acid sequence is 256 residues long with a calculated molecular mass of 28.2kDa and a theoretical pI of 5.48. Southern and Northern blot analyses suggested the gene as a single copy in A. healyi genome and expressed as a single transcript of approximately 1.0kb. Virulent strains of Acanthamoeba revealed higher level of the AhLBP mRNA expression than soil isolates. Specific binding of the purified recombinant protein to laminin was confirmed by sandwich Western blot. The polypeptide encoded by AhLBP shared substantial identity with the acidic class ribosomal proteins involved in protein synthesis. Therefore, the AhLBP may be multifunctional in A. healyi, acting as a laminin-binding molecule but also playing a role in cell division and growth. AhLBP-EGFP fusion protein expressed in A. healyi was localized mainly at the cell membrane and nucleus and at cytoplasm with lesser degree. N-terminal 64 amino acids were important for the localization at the cell membrane. This is the first description of a cDNA encoding a laminin-binding protein from protozoan parasites.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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