, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 402-409
Date: 07 Jun 2005

Mechanisms associated with Acanthamoeba castellanii (T4) phagocytosis

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Using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled Escherichia coli, phagocytosis in Acanthamoeba is studied. This assay is based on the quenching effect of trypan blue on FITC-labelled E. coli. Only intracellular E. coli retain their fluorescence, which are easily discriminated from non-fluorescent adherent bacteria. Acanthamoeba uptake of E. coli is significantly reduced in the presence of genistein, a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor. In contrast, sodium orthovanadate (protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor) increases bacterial uptake by Acanthamoeba. Treatment of Acanthamoeba with cytochalasin D (actin polymerization inhibitor) abolished the ability of Acanthamoeba to phagocytose E. coli suggesting that tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling may play a role in Acanthamoeba phagocytosis. In addition, we showed that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) plays an important role in Acanthamoeba uptake of E. coli. Role of mannose-binding protein in Acanthamoeba phagocytosis is discussed further.