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Cell Microbiol. 2005 Apr;7(4):569-79.

A lysine- and glutamic acid-rich protein, KERP1, from Entamoeba histolytica binds to human enterocytes.

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1
Unité Biologie Cellulaire du Parasitisme, INSERM U389, France.

Abstract

Contact-dependent cytolysis of host cells by Entamoeba histolytica is an important hallmark of amoebiasis that points out the importance of molecules involved in the interaction between the parasite and the human cells. To decipher the molecular and cellular mechanisms supporting the invasion of the intestinal epithelium by E. histolytica, we analysed proteins involved in the interaction of the parasite with enterocytes. Affinity chromatography revealed several amoebic proteins interacting with purified brush border of differentiated Caco2 cells. Among them were found the intermediate subunit of the Gal/GalNAc lectin, an alpha-actinin-like protein and two new proteins KERP1 and KERP2 rich in lysine and glutamic acid. In silico analysis revealed the presence of KERP2 in the closely related non-pathogenic amoeba species Entamoeba dispar but not of KERP1. In additon, polymerase chain reaction analysis allowed to suggest the absence of kerp1 homologous gene in E. dispar. Therefore, we concentrated on the cellular analysis of KERP1. Cloning of the KERP1-encoding gene, production of a recombinant protein in Escherichia coli and production of a specific antibody allowed us to show the following properties: (i) purified KERP1 binds to epithelial cell surface, (ii) KERP1 is located on the plasma membrane and in vesicles of trophozoites and (iii) KERP1 is delivered in the interstitial area between the trophozoites and the intestinal cells.

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