The appearance of cyst-specific proteins in encysting Entamoeba invadens and their immunogenicity were examined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting using an axenic encystation system in vitro. A rabbit antiserum against trophozoites of E. invadens reacted with a number of proteins of cysts after 1-4 days of incubation. Thus, a number of cyst proteins remained antigenically unchanged as common antigens of the two forms after transformation from trophozoites to cysts. A rabbit antiserum against cysts also reacted with the trophozoite proteins as well as the cyst proteins. The most interesting result was that the rabbit anticyst serum reacted predominantly with an 88-kDa protein of cysts after 1 day of incubation. The 88-kDa protein reacted with the anticyst serum absorbed with trophozoite proteins and was thus cyst-specific. The reactivity of the 88-kDa protein of cysts with the absorbed anticyst serum decreased as encystation proceeded. When soluble and particulate fractions prepared from cysts after 1 day of incubation were examined by electrophoresis and immunoblotting, the 88-kDa protein that had reacted with the absorbed anticyst serum was found to be present in the particulate fraction, which was rich in cell-wall fragments, and stained with periodic acid-Schiff's reagent, indicating that it is a glycoprotein. The results indicate that encystation is accompanied by appearance of the cyst-specific 88-kDa glycoprotein, which is immunodominant and most abundantly expressed in cysts after 1 day of incubation and appears to be associated with the cyst wall.
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