Acanthamoeba castellanii: Characterization of an adhesin molecule

Mary J. Kennett, Reuel R. Hook, Craig L. Franklin, Lela K. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living protozoan that causes keratitis in humans and has been associated with pneumonia and granulomatous amebic encephalitis in dogs, sheep, and other species. Adherence of the Acanthamoeba to epithelial cells is critical to the pathogenesis of this disease. In this study, several mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAb) generated to whole Acanthamoeba trophozoites identified surface membrane epitopes by ELISA and IFA. Nine antibodies inhibited adherence of [35S]-methionine- labeled Acanthamoeba trophozoites to hamster corneal epithelial cells by 27- 90%. Sodium periodate treatment, but not proteinase K digestion, of whole Acanthamoeba destroyed epitopes recognized by adherence-inhibiting antibodies such as MAb 7H6, suggesting that the adherence epitopes are carbohydrates. Other antibodies, MAb 2A8 for example, recognized surface membrane peptide epitopes that were proteinase K sensitive and sodium periodate resistant. Purified MAb 2A8 was used in an antigen-capture ELISA with peroxidase- labeled MAb 7H6 and demonstrated that the carbohydrate adhesion molecule was linked to the peptide recognized by MAb 2A8. Both MAbs 7H6 and 2A8 recognized a >207-kDa band on a Western blot of eluant from a MAb 2A8 immunoaffinity column, confirming that MAb 7H6 and MAb 2A8 recognize different epitopes on the same adherence molecule. MAbs 7H6 and 2A8 also identified the adhesion molecule in soluble Acanthamoeba membrane preparations and MAb 2A8 immunoaffinity column eluant by ELISA and Western blot. Neither of these antibodies were inhibited from binding to whole trophozoites nor membrane extracts by mannose or mannan in competitive binding assays. When our Acanthamoeba membrane preparations were electrophoresed and immunoblotted with α-D-mannosylated-biotin albumin, no bands were recognized in the >207 kDa range by our adherence-associated antibodies. These results suggest that the Acanthamoeba adhesin is not identical to the mannose binding protein of Acanthamoeba but rather is a distinct surface membrane glycoprotein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Acanthamoeba castellanii: Characterization of an adhesin molecule'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this