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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1987 Nov;26(1-2):87-97.

Catalytic classes of proteinases of Entamoeba histolytica.

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Departamento de Microbiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, D.F.


Endopeptidase inhibitors were used to determine the catalytic classes of proteinases present in extracts of Entamoeba histolytica (strain HM 1:IMSS) axenically grown in vitro. Cysteine proteinases account for most of the proteolytic activity; one or more proteinases with different catalytic mechanisms are also present but could not be unambiguously assigned to a particular catalytic class. Proteinases in amebic lysates were resolved by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with sodium dodecyl sulfate. The detergent was exchanged with Triton X-100 and the proteolytic activity in the gels was demonstrated by overlaying it on another gel containing the substrate. Four lysis zones were observed corresponding to molecular weights of 66,000, 56,000, 40,000 and 27,000. The first cannot be classified yet, but the last three showed properties consistent with those of cysteine proteinases. Finally, a novel technique is described which uses purified human alpha-2-macroglobulin to trap, purify and characterize proteases from amebic lysates. The results obtained with this technique confirm those of the overlay technique, since both methods reveal four distinct proteinases in the two different amebic preparations examined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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