Molecular and cellular characterization of the 29-kilodalton peripheral membrane protein of Entamoeba histolytica: Differentiation between pathogenic and nonpathogenic isolates

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To further characterize the 29-kDa surface antigen of Entamoeba histolytica, we analyzed the complete nucleotide sequence and compared the immunoreactivity of this antigen in pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains. Five cDNA clones (one 1.0-kb full-length clone, designated p13, and four partial-length clones) encoding the antigen were analyzed for allelic variation. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences revealed several single- nucleotide substitutions in all five cDNAs, two of which resulted in amino acid differences. Localization of the antigen to the amebic surface in a previous report (B. E. Torian, B. M. Flores, V. L. Stroeher, F. S. Hagen, and W. E. Stamm, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87:6358-6362, 1990) was corroborated by transmission electron microscopy showing colloidal gold particles on the surface of the trophozoites. Computer analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence predicted that the protein encoded by p13 was a hydrophilic peripheral membrane protein, and these data were confirmed by a Triton X-114 membrane extraction showing the presence of the 29-kDa antigen primarily in the aqueous phase of the detergent partition. Monoclonal antibodies to a fusion peptide differentiated between pathogenic and nonpathogenic clinical strains of E. histolytica in immunoblots. Although no immunoreactive epitopes were detected on nonpathogenic strains, Northern (RNA) analysis and DNA-DNA hybridization with a 700-bp cDNA probe demonstrated that mRNA and the gene encoding the 29-kDa surface antigen were present in both pathogenic and nonpathogenic clinical isolates.

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Infection and Immunity

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