Acanthamoeba Castellanii: Gene Profile of Encystation by ESTs Analysis and KOG Assignment

Exp Parasitol. 2008 May;119(1):111-6. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 Jan 8.


The trophozoite of Acanthamoeba transforms into a cyst, the resistant form under harmful environments such as starvation, cold and certain chemicals used in medical treatment. To investigate the factors mediating encystation, ESTs of encystation-induced A. castellanii were analysed and compared to those of trophozoites. Each EST was compared by the predicted proteins from the ESTs, to the cyst and the trophozoite by reciprocal BLAST analysis, KOG assignment, and gene annotation. In addition to the genes previously reported to encystation mediate such as cyst specific protein 21, protein kinase C, proteasome and heat shock protein, several genes like cullin 4, autophage protein 8 and ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes were identified to be related to encystation. Five kinds of proteinase genes were detected in cyst ESTs. The information of the genes expressed during encystation may open the way to further study on differentiation and resistance of cyst-forming pathogenic protozoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba castellanii / classification
  • Acanthamoeba castellanii / genetics
  • Acanthamoeba castellanii / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Expressed Sequence Tags*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Oocysts / physiology
  • Peptide Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Peptide Hydrolases / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics*
  • Trophozoites / physiology


  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Peptide Hydrolases