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Mol Gen Genet. 1997 Apr 16;254(3):250-7.

A novel cytoplasmic structure containing DNA networks in Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites.

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Program of Molecular Biomedicine, CINVESTAV-IPN, México, D.F.


We report here the presence of cytoplasmic DNA arranged in networks in the trophozoites of the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Cytoplasmic DNA was detected in live trophozoites in a structure that we called EhkO, using the fluorescent dye acridine orange, and by in situ hybridization to trophozoites with a rDNA probe. The EhkO was found in the axenically grown clones A, L6 (strain HMI:IMSS) and MAVax (strain MAV) and in the polyxenically grown clone MAVpx (strain MAV). Bacteria present in MAVpx did not cross hybridize with the DNA probe neither in in situ hybridization or in Southern blot experiments. Autoradiography of metabolically [3H]thymidine-labeled trophozoites showed the presence of EhkO, and an EhkO-enriched fraction, purified from a nuclei-free extract and examined by light microscopy, exhibited [3H]thymidine incorporation into this structure. DNA was purified from the EhkO and enriched nuclear fractions and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The EhkO fraction contained DNA networks resembling those of trypanosome kDNA, whereas nuclear DNA was present mainly as linear molecules and some circles. Our findings imply that E. histolytica may be taxonomically more closely related to the Trypanosomatidae than previously suspected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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