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Microbiology. 2011 Jan;157(Pt 1):209-19. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.040063-0. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase-2 (EhADH2) and clathrin are involved in internalization of human transferrin by Entamoeba histolytica.

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Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Biológicas de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Apdo Postal 23-181, México, DF 04960, Mexico.


Transferrin (Tf) is a host glycoprotein capable of binding two ferric-iron ions to become holotransferrin (holoTf), which transports iron in to all cells. Entamoeba histolytica is a parasitic protozoan able to use holoTf as a sole iron source in vitro. The mechanism by which this parasite scavenges iron from holoTf is unknown. An E. histolytica holoTf-binding protein (EhTfbp) was purified by using an anti-human transferrin receptor (TfR) monoclonal antibody. EhTfbp was identified by MS/MS analysis and database searches as E. histolytica acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase-2 (EhADH2), an iron-dependent enzyme. Both EhTfbp and EhADH2 bound holoTf and were recognized by the anti-human TfR antibody, indicating that they correspond to the same protein. It was found that the amoebae internalized holoTf through clathrin-coated pits, suggesting that holoTf endocytosis could be important for the parasite during colonization and invasion of the intestinal mucosa and liver.

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