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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1994 Sep;67(1):125-35.

Identification of a developmentally regulated transcript expressed during encystation of Entamoeba invadens.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Molecular Parasitology, New York University School of Medicine, NY.


Differentiation of trophozoites into cysts in Entamoeba species has been described morphologically and to a lesser extent biochemically, but studies of stage specific gene expression have not been reported. At present Entamoeba invadens is the only species that can be induced to differentiate in axenic culture and is a useful model system for the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Using this model system, we performed cDNA-mRNA hybridization experiments to compare the RNA populations from trophozoites and from parasites at different stages of cyst formation. We detected the accumulation of a population of stage specific transcripts between 8 and 22 h after parasites are placed in induction medium. To identify genes involved in the trophozoite-cyst transformation we carried out a differential screening of a cDNA library. This yielded a clone that represents a stage specific gene whose transcripts are barely detectable in vegetatively grown trophozoites and maturing cysts, but are readily detected at the onset of cyst formation. Other features of the gene and its predicted protein product(s) are described.

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