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Molecular cloning and expression of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase and phosphoserine aminotransferase in the serine biosynthetic pathway from Acanthamoeba castellanii


Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are widespread protozoans that can cause serious infectious diseases. This study characterised phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PGDH) and phosphoserine aminotransferase (PSAT) in the phosphorylated serine biosynthetic pathway of Acanthamoeba castellanii. The PGDH gene encodes a protein of 442 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 47.7 kDa and an isoelectric point (pI) of 7.64. Meanwhile, the PSAT gene encodes a protein of 394 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 43.8 kDa and a pI of 5.80. Confocal microscopy suggests that PGDH is mainly diffused in the cytoplasm, whereas PSAT is located in the inner part of the cell membrane. The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of PGDH and PSAT vary depending on growth state under consecutive culture conditions. No significant changes in the mRNA expression levels of both PGDH and PSAT occur after the incubation of l-serine with Acanthamoeba. This result indicates that exogenous serine exerts no influence on the expression of these genes and that the so-called feedback inhibition of both PGDH and PSAT in Acanthamoeba differs from that in bacteria or other organisms. We propose that the enzymes in the phosphorylated serine biosynthetic pathway function in amoeba growth and proliferation.

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This work was supported by the Doctoral Fund of the Ministry of Education of China (20110071110042), NSFC (81171594) and MEXT KAKENHI (23117009). We are grateful to Ke Qiao from Shanghai Medical School, Fudan University, for sharing her excellent technical expertise in confocal microscopy.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interests.

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Correspondence to Xunjia Cheng.

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Deng, Y., Wu, D., Tachibana, H. et al. Molecular cloning and expression of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase and phosphoserine aminotransferase in the serine biosynthetic pathway from Acanthamoeba castellanii . Parasitol Res 114, 1387–1395 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4317-2

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  • Acanthamoeba castellanii
  • Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase
  • Phosphoserine aminotransferase
  • Serine biosynthetic pathway