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PLoS One. 2010 Oct 8;5(10):e13291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013291.

EhMAPK, the mitogen-activated protein kinase from Entamoeba histolytica is associated with cell survival.

Author information

1
Crystallography and Molecular Biology Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear physics, Kolkata, India.

Abstract

Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs) are a class of serine/threonine kinases that regulate a number of different cellular activities including cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and even death. The pathogen Entamoeba histolytica possess a single homologue of a typical MAPK gene (EhMAPK) whose identification was previously reported by us but its functional implications remained unexplored. EhMAPK, the only mitogen-activated protein kinase from the parasitic protist Entamoeba histolytica with Threonine-X-Tyrosine (TXY) phosphorylation motif was cloned, expressed in E. coli and functionally characterized under different stress conditions. The expression profile of EhMAPK at the protein and mRNA level remained similar among untreated, heat shocked and hydrogen peroxide-treated samples in all cases of dose and time. But a significant difference was obtained in the phosphorylation status of the protein in response to different stresses. Heat shock at 43°C or 0.5 mM H(2)O(2) treatment enhanced the phosphorylation status of EhMAPK and augmented the kinase activity of the protein whereas 2.0 mM H(2)O(2) treatment induced dephosphorylation of EhMAPK and loss of kinase activity. 2.0 mM H(2)O(2) treatment reduced parasite viability significantly but heat shock and 0.5 mM H(2)O(2) treatment failed to adversely affect E. histolytica viability. Therefore, a distinct possibility that activation of EhMAPK is associated with stress survival in E. histolytica is seen. Our study also gives a glimpse of the regulatory mechanism of the protein under in vivo conditions. Since the parasite genome lacks any typical homologue of mammalian MEK, the dual specificity kinases which are the upstream activators of MAPK, indications of the existence of some alternate regulatory mechanisms of the EhMAPK activity is perceived. These may include the autophosphorylation activity of the protein itself in combination with some upstream phosphatases which are not yet identified.

PMID:
20949043
PMCID:
PMC2951911
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0013291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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