The effect of aphidicolin, a specific inhibitor of the replicative DNA polymerases, on the excystation and metacystic development of Entamoeba invadens was examined. The protein profile of metacystic amoebae and their immunogenicity in the presence and absence of aphidicolin were also examined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting. Excystation, which was assessed by counting the number of metacystic amoebae after the induction of excystation, was inhibited by aphidicolin in a concentration-dependent manner during incubation compared to the controls. Metacystic development, when determined by the number of nuclei in amoeba, was also inhibited by aphidicolin, because the percentage of 4-nucleate amoebae in cultures with aphidicolin during incubation was higher than that in cultures without the drug. The addition of aphidicolin to cultures at day 1 of incubation reduced the number of metacystic amoebae thereafter compared to cultures without the drug. The inhibitory effect of aphidicolin on excystation and metacystic development was reversed by removal of the drug. Pretreatment of cysts with aphidicolin before transfer to a growth medium containing the drug had no further effect on the excystation and metacystic development. Cellular proteins of metacystic amoebae with 4 nuclei, which were predominant even at day 3 in the cultures with aphidicolin, reacted strongly with rabbit anticyst serum absorbed with trophozoite proteins. In contrast, those of metacystic amoebae with 1 nucleus, which were predominant at day 3 in cultures without aphidicolin, no longer reacted with the absorbed anticyst serum, suggesting change in the expression of proteins during metacystic development.
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