Parasitology Research

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp 917–924

The Nf-actin gene is an important factor for food-cup formation and cytotoxicity of pathogenic Naegleria fowleri

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-010-1760-y

Cite this article as:
Sohn, HJ., Kim, JH., Shin, MH. et al. Parasitol Res (2010) 106: 917. doi:10.1007/s00436-010-1760-y


Naegleria fowleri destroys target cells by trogocytosis, a phagocytosis mechanism, and a process of piecemeal ingestion of target cells by food-cups. Phagocytosis is an actin-dependent process that involves polymerization of monomeric G-actin into filamentous F-actin. However, despite the numerous studies concerning phagocytosis, its role in the N. fowleri food-cup formation related with trogocytosis has been poorly reported. In this study, we cloned and characterized an Nf-actin gene to elucidate the role of Nf-actin gene in N. fowleri pathogenesis. The Nf-actin gene is composed of 1,128-bp and produced a 54.1-kDa recombinant protein (Nf-actin). The sequence identity was 82% with nonpathogenic Naegleria gruberi but has no sequence identity with other mammals or human actin gene. Anti-Nf-actin polyclonal antibody was produced in BALB/c mice immunized with recombinant Nf-actin. The Nf-actin was localized on the cytoplasm, pseudopodia, and especially, food-cup structure (amoebastome) in N. fowleri trophozoites using immunofluorescence assay. When N. fowleri co-cultured with Chinese hamster ovary cells, Nf-actin was observed to localize around on phagocytic food-cups. We also observed that N. fowleri treated with cytochalasin D as actin polymerization inhibitor or transfected with antisense oligomer of Nf-actin gene had shown the reduced ability of food-cup formation and in vitro cytotoxicity. Finally, it suggests that Nf-actin plays an important role in phagocytic activity of pathogenic N. fowleri.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Department of Molecular Science & TechnologyAjou University School of MedicineSuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Medical Biology, Institute of Tropical MedicineYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea