We have recently identified 2 surface proteins in Entamoeba histolytica as intermediate subunits of galactose- and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine-inhibitable lectin (EhIgl1 and EhIgl2); these proteins both contain multiple CXXC motifs. Here, we report the molecular characterization of the corresponding proteins in Entamoeba dispar, which is neither pathogenic nor invasive. Two Igl genes encoding 1110 and 1106 amino acids (EdIgl1 and EdIgl2) were cloned from 2 strains of E. dispar. The amino acid sequence identities were 79% between EdIgl1 and EdIgl2, 75-76% between EdIgl1 and EhIgl1, and 73-74% between EdIgl2 and EhIgl2. However, all the CXXC motifs were conserved in the EdIgl proteins, suggesting that the fold conferred by this motif is important for function. Comparison of the expression level of the Igl genes by real-time RT-PCR showed 3-5 times higher expression of EdIgl1 compared to EdIgl2. Most EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 proteins were co-localized on the surface and in the cytoplasm of trophozoites, based on confocal microscopy. However, a different localization of EdIgl1 and EdIgl2 in intracellular vacuoles and a different level of phenotypic expression of the two Igls were also observed. These results demonstrate that Igls are important proteins even in non-pathogenic amoeba and that Igl1 and Igl2 may possess different functions.
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