Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.508, No.4, 1031-1037, 2019
De novo synthesis of sphingolipids plays an important role during in vitro encystment of Entamoeba invadens
Entamoeba invadens is a protozoan, which causes multiple damages in reptiles and is considered a prototype for the study of the Entamoeba encystment in vitro. Here we report for the first time the role of the de novo synthesis pathway of sphingolipids during the encystment of E. invadens. In silico analysis showed that this parasite has six putative genes coding for ceramide synthases (CerS), all of them coding for proteins containing the Lag1p motif, a region conserved in the ceramide synthases of multiple organisms, suggesting that they might be bona fide CerS. The six genes of E. invadens are differentially expressed at different time intervals in both stages trophozoite and cyst, based on the results obtained through qRT-PCR assays, the genes involved in the synthesis of sphingolipids with long-chain fatty acids CerS 2,3,4 (EIN_046610, EIN_097030, EIN_130350) have maximum points of relative expression in both stages of the E. invadens life cycle, which strongly suggest that the signaling exerted from the synthesis pathway of sphingolipids is essential for the encystment of E. invadens, since the generation of the more abundant sphingomyelin (SM) subspecies with long-chain fatty acids are fundamental for the parasite to reach its conversion from trophozoite to cyst. When myriocin was used as an inhibitor of serine palmitoyl CoA transferase (SPT), first enzyme in the de novo biosynthesis of sphingolipids, the trophozoites of E. invadens were unable to reach the encystment. Since the effect of myriocin was reversed with exogenous u-erythrosphingosine (DHS), it was demonstrated that the inhibition was specific and it was confirmed that the synthesis of sphingolipids play an essential role during the encystment process of E. invadens. (C) 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.