Genes of Acanthamoeba: DNA, RNA and protein sequences (a review)

J Protozool. Jul-Aug 1990;37(4):17S-25S. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1990.tb01141.x.


This review summarizes knowledge about the structure of nuclear genes and mitochondrial DNA in Acanthamoeba. The information about nuclear genes is derived from studies of DNA, RNA and protein sequences. The genes considered are those for 5S, 5.8S and 18S rRNA, actin I, profilins Ia/b and II, myosins IB, IC and II, and calmodulin. All of the sequences show strong similarities to comparable sequences from other organisms. Introns have been found in the actin and myosin genes. The location of the actin intron is unique, but many of the myosin introns occur at the same sites as introns in myosins of other organisms. Sequence comparisons, especially of 5S and 5.8S rRNA and actin, support previous evidence, based primarily on 18S rRNA, that Acanthamoeba genes are at least as closely related to those of higher plants and animals as they are to various other protistan genera. The functional organization of the promoter region for the nuclear rDNA transcription unit has been studied extensively, but there is a need for information about the functional organization of regulatory sequences for other genes. Restriction fragment length profile (RFLP) studies of mitochondrial DNA reveal relatively high levels of overall sequence diversity, but information on the structure and function of individual genes is needed. The RFLP appear to have potential as tools for taxonomic studies of this genus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / genetics*
  • Actins / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Calmodulin / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Contractile Proteins*
  • DNA*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Myosins / genetics
  • Profilins
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA*
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping


  • Actins
  • Calmodulin
  • Contractile Proteins
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Profilins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Myosins