Encystation process of Giardia lamblia : morphological and regulatory aspects

Bittencourt-Silvestre, J., Lemgruber Soares, L. and Souza, W. d. (2010) Encystation process of Giardia lamblia : morphological and regulatory aspects. Archives of Microbiology, 192, pp. 259-265. (doi: 10.1007/s00203-010-0554-z) (PMID:20151113)

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One important step in the life cycle of the pathogenic protozoan Giardia lamblia is the transformation of the proliferative form, the trophozoite, into the non-proliferative cyst. This process, known as encystation, can be triggered in vitro. Morphological analysis showed that during trophozoite-cyst transformation, major changes take place: modification of the protozoan shape, internalization of the flagella, fragmentation of the adhesive disk, and appearance of encystation vesicles (ESVs), which later on fuse with the plasma membrane forming the cell wall. Sites of attachment of these vesicles to the inner portion of the protozoan plasma membrane were observed 6 h after the beginning of the encystation process. These sites were only visible when we used high-resolution scanning electron microscopy to study Giardia surface. In order to analyze the involvement of protein kinases and phosphatases on the encystation process, inhibitors of these enzymes were added to the culture medium, and their effect on the differentiation process was determined using light, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy. Significant inhibition was observed with LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3 kinase; genistein, an inhibitor of tyrosine kinase; and staurosporine, at concentrations, which inhibit protein kinase C. Okadaic acid, an inhibitor or protein phosphatase, and wortmannin, an inhibitor of PI3K, did not interfere with the encystation process. However, they induced the appearance of large and pleomorphic forms where several nuclei and disorganization of the peripheral vesicles were observed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lemgruber Soares, Dr Leandro
Authors: Bittencourt-Silvestre, J., Lemgruber Soares, L., and Souza, W. d.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Archives of Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1432-072X
Published Online:12 February 2010

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