Korean J Parasitol.  2017 Apr;55(2):115-120. 10.3347/kjp.2017.55.2.115.

DNA Methylation of Gene Expression in Acanthamoeba castellanii Encystation

  • 1Department of Medical Zoology, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul 02447, Korea.
  • 2Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 41944, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pharmacology, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 41944, Korea.
  • 4Department of Parasitology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan 49201, Korea. hhkong@dau.ac.kr


Encystation mediating cyst specific cysteine proteinase (CSCP) of Acanthamoeba castellanii is expressed remarkably during encystation. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of CSCP gene expression remains unclear. In this study, we focused on epigenetic regulation of gene expression during encystation of Acanthamoeba. To evaluate methylation as a potential mechanism involved in the regulation of CSCP expression, we first investigated the correlation between promoter methylation status of CSCP gene and its expression. A 2,878 bp of promoter sequence of CSCP gene was amplified by PCR. Three CpG islands (island 1-3) were detected in this sequence using bioinformatics tools. Methylation of CpG island in trophozoites and cysts was measured by bisulfite sequence PCR. CSCP promoter methylation of CpG island 1 (1,633 bp) was found in 8.2% of trophozoites and 7.3% of cysts. Methylation of CpG island 2 (625 bp) was observed in 4.2% of trophozoites and 5.8% of cysts. Methylation of CpG island 3 (367 bp) in trophozoites and cysts was both 3.6%. These results suggest that DNA methylation system is present in CSCP gene expression of Acanthamoeba. In addition, the expression of encystation mediating CSCP is correlated with promoter CpG island 1 hypomethylation.


Acanthamoeba castellanii; encystation; epigenetic regulation

MeSH Terms

Acanthamoeba castellanii*
Computational Biology
CpG Islands
Cysteine Proteases
DNA Methylation*
Gene Expression Regulation
Gene Expression*
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Cysteine Proteases
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