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Trop Biomed. 2004 Dec;21(2):57-60.

Proteinases in Naegleria Fowleri (strain NF3), a pathogenic amoeba: a preliminary study.

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia [KUSTEM], Mengabang Telipot, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Abstract

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba, known as a causative agent for a fatal disease of the central nervous system (CNS) in man such as Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Factors contributing to its pathogenicity and its distribution in the environment have been investigated by previous researchers. In case of its pathogenicity, several enzymes such as phospolipase A and sphingomyelinase, have been proposed to probably act as aggressors in promoting PAM but no study so far have been conducted to investigate the presence of proteinase enzyme in this amoeba although a 56kDa cystein proteinase enzyme has been identified in Entamoeba histolytica as an important contributing factor in the amoeba's virulence. In this preliminary study, a pathogenic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri (strain NF3) was examined for the presence of proteinases. Samples of enzymes in this amoeba were analysed by electrophoresis using SDS-PAGE-gelatin gels. The results showed that this amoeba possesses at least two high molecular weight proteinases on gelatin gels; their apparent molecular weights are approximately 128 kDa and approximately 170 kDa. Band of approximately 128 kDa enzyme is membrane-associated and its activity is higher at alkaline pH compared with lower pH; at lower pH, its activity is greatly stimulated by DTT. The approximately 170 kDa band enzyme appears to be inactivated at pH 8.0, at lower ph its activity is higher and DTT-dependance. The activity of this enzyme is partially inhibited by inhibitor E-64 but markedly inhibited to antipain suggesting it belongs to the cysteine proteinase group.

PMID:
16493399
[PubMed]
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