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Eukaryot Cell. 2010 May;9(5):695-704. doi: 10.1128/EC.00346-09. Epub 2009 Dec 18.

Phospholipid-binding protein EhC2A mediates calcium-dependent translocation of transcription factor URE3-BP to the plasma membrane of Entamoeba histolytica.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 801340, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The Entamoeba histolytica upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP) is a transcription factor that binds DNA in a Ca(2+)-inhibitable manner. The protein is located in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm but has also been found to be enriched in the plasma membrane of amebic trophozoites. We investigated the reason for the unusual localization of URE3-BP at the amebic plasma membrane. Here we identify and characterize a 22-kDa Ca(2+)-dependent binding partner of URE3-BP, EhC2A, a novel member of the C2-domain superfamily. Immunoprecipitations of URE3-BP and EhC2A showed that the proteins interact and that such interaction was enhanced in the presence of Ca(2+). Recombinant and native EhC2A bound phospholipid liposomes in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, with half-maximal binding occurring at 3.4 muM free Ca(2+). A direct interaction between EhC2A and URE3-BP was demonstrated by the ability of recombinant EhC2A to recruit recombinant URE3-BP to phospholipid liposomes in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. URE3-BP and EhC2A were observed to translocate to the amebic plasma membrane upon an increase in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration of trophozoites, as revealed by subcellular fractionation and immunofluorescent staining. Short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of EhC2A protein expression significantly modulated the mRNA levels of URE3-BP-regulated transcripts. Based on these results, we propose a model for EhC2A-mediated regulation of the transcriptional activities of URE3-BP via Ca(2+)-dependent anchoring of the transcription factor to the amebic plasma membrane.

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