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Trehalose During Two Stress Responses in Acanthamoeba: Differentiation Between Encystation and Pseudocyst Formation

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Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 7 Sep 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2017
Issue number6
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)649-662
Early online date14/09/17
Original languageEnglish


The non-reducing disaccharide trehalose can serve as a protectant against a range of environmental stressors, such as heat, cold, or dehydration, in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, with the exception of vertebrates. Here, we analyzed trehalose metabolism in the facultatively parasitic organism Acanthamoeba castellanii, known to respond to unfavorable external conditions by forming two resistant stages: a cyst, produced in the case of chronic stress, and a pseudocyst, formed in reaction to acute stress. The possible role of trehalose in the resistant stages was investigated using a combination of bioinformatic, molecular biological and biochemical approaches. Genes for enzymes from a widespread trehalose-6-synthase-trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPS-TPP) pathway and a prokaryotic trehalose synthase (TreS) pathway were identified. The expression patterns of the genes during encystation and pseudocyst formation were analyzed and correlated with the time course of cellular trehalose content determined mass spectrometrically. The data clearly demonstrate fundamental differences between encystation and pseudocyst formation at the level of cellular metabolism.

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©2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • Acanthamoeba, cyst, mass spectrometry, phylogeny., pseudocyst, Trehalose

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