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Exp Parasitol. 2010 Nov;126(3):337-47. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2010.04.014. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Conservation and function of Rab small GTPases in Entamoeba: annotation of E. invadens Rab and its use for the understanding of Entamoeba biology.

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Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


Entamoeba invadens is a reptilian enteric protozoan parasite closely related to the human pathogen Entamoeba histolytica and a good model organism of encystation. To understand the molecular mechanism of vesicular trafficking involved in the encystation of Entamoeba, we examined the conservation of Rab small GTPases between the two species. E. invadens has over 100 Rab genes, similar to E. histolytica. Most of the Rab subfamilies are conserved between the two species, while a number of species-specific Rabs are also present. We annotated all E. invadens Rabs according to the previous nomenclature [Saito-Nakano, Y., Loftus, B.J., Hall, N., Nozaki, T., 2005. The diversity of Rab GTPases in Entamoeba histolytica. Experimental Parasitology 110, 244-252]. Comparative genomic analysis suggested that the fundamental vesicular traffic machinery is well conserved, while there are species-specific protein transport mechanisms. We also reviewed the function of Rabs in Entamoeba, and proposed the use of the annotation of E. invadens Rab genes to understand the ubiquitous importance of Rab-mediated membrane trafficking during important biological processes including differentiation in Entamoeba.

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