Current Genetics

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 171–186 | Cite as

InterB multigenic family, a gene repertoire associated with subterminal chromosome regions of Encephalitozoon cuniculi and conserved in several human-infecting microsporidian species

  • Ndongo Dia
  • Laurence Lavie
  • Guy Méténier
  • Bhen S. Toguebaye
  • Christian P. Vivarès
  • Emmanuel CornillotEmail author
Research Article


Microsporidia are fungi-related obligate intracellular parasites that infect numerous animals, including man. Encephalitozoon cuniculi harbours a very small genome (2.9 Mbp) with about 2,000 coding sequences (CDSs). Most repeated CDSs are of unknown function and are distributed in subterminal regions that mark the transitions between subtelomeric rDNA units and chromosome cores. A potential multigenic family (interB) encoding proteins within a size range of 579–641 aa was investigated by PCR and RT-PCR. Thirty members were finally assigned to the E. cuniculi interB family and a predominant interB transcript was found to originate from a newly identified gene on chromosome III. Microsporidian species from eight different genera infecting insects, fishes or mammals, were tested for a possible intra-phylum conservation of interB genes. Only representatives of the Encephalitozoon, Vittaforma and Brachiola genera, differing in host range but all able to invade humans, were positive. Molecular karyotyping of Brachiola algerae showed a complex set of chromosome bands, providing a haploid genome size estimate of 15–20 Mbp. In spite of this large difference in genome complexity, B. algerae and E. cuniculi shared some similar interB gene copies and a common location of interB genes in near-rDNA subterminal regions.


Encephalitozoon cuniculi Brachiola algerae Chromosome extremity Multigenic family KARD 2D-PFGE 



We thank all people who provided us with either DNA or spores from microsporidia that were not available in the Clermont-Fd laboratory: Drs Lamjed Mansour for Glugea atherinae and Spraguea lophii, Ngor Faye for Neonosemoïdes syacii, Elena Nassonova for Paranosema grylli and Wang Lin for Nosema bombycis. We convey our special thanks to Drs Elisabeth S. Didier and Lisa C. Bowers for sending Vittaforma corneae spores despite the fact that these persons were affected by Katrina hurricane. We also thank Dr. Damien Brosson for helpful discussion. This work was supported by grants from EGIDE France (Ndongo Dia PhD) and the Medical Research Foundation (FRM: Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale; Laurence Lavie post-doctoral position).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ndongo Dia
    • 1
  • Laurence Lavie
    • 1
  • Guy Méténier
    • 1
  • Bhen S. Toguebaye
    • 2
  • Christian P. Vivarès
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Cornillot
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Equipe Parasitologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Laboratoire de Biologie des ProtistesUMR CNRS 6023, Bâtiment Biologie A, Université Blaise PascalAubière cedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Parasitologie Générale, Département de Biologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences et TechnologiesUniversité Cheikh Anta DiopDakarSenegal

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