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FEBS Lett. 2005 Nov 21;579(28):6395-402. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

Epigenetic and classical activation of Entamoeba histolytica heat shock protein 100 (EHsp100) expression.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 31096 Haifa, Israel.


The protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica expresses a cytosine-5 DNA methyltransferase (Ehmeth) that belongs to the DNMT2 protein family. The biological function of members of this DNMT2 family is unknown. In the present study, the 5' region of E. histolytica heat shock protein 100 (5'EHsp100) was isolated by affinity chromatography with 5-methylcytosine antibodies as ligand. The methylation status of 5'EHsp100 was confirmed by sodium bisulfite sequencing. We showed that the expression of EHsp100 was induced by heat shock, 5-azacytidine (5-AzaC), an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase and Trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase. The effect of TSA on EHsp100 expression was rapidly reversed by removing the drug from the culture. In contrast, EHsp100 expression was still detectable one month after removing 5-AzaC from the media. Whereas 5-AzaC and TSA caused demethylation in the promoter region of EHsp100, no demethylation was observed following heat shock. Remarkably, DNA that includes three putative heat shock elements identified in the promoter region of EHsp100 bound to a protein of 37kDa present in the nuclear fraction of heat-shocked trophozoites but absent in the nuclear fraction of 5-AzaC and TSA treated trophozoites. Our data suggest that EHsp100 expression can be regulated by both a classical and an epigenetic mechanism.

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