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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 26(2):1988 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1988 Jun;26(2):95-106. Korean.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1988.26.2.95
Copyright © 1988 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
A comparative study on hydrolase activities in Acanthamoeba culbertsoni and A. royreba
Yong Kyu Kim,Tae Ue Kim,In Sil Joung and Kyung Il Im
Department of Parasitology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, and Institute of Tropical Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-752, Korea.

Specific or non-specific cytolytic processes of free-living amoebae causing meningoencephalitis have been emphasized and the cytolytic ability related to hydrolases in Entamoeba sp. and Naegleria sp. has also been reported since the latter half of 1970's. However, no information on hydrolase activities in Acanthamoeba sp. is available. Hydrolases in Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, a pathogenic species of free-living amoebae, were assayed and compared with those in a non-pathogenic species, A. royreba. Pathogenicity of these two species was confirmed through experimental infection to BALB/c mice. Hydrolase activities and cytotoxic effects between pathogenic and non-pathogenic species were compared in the trophozoites cultured in CGV media and in CHO cell line, respectively. The results are summarized as follows: The mice infected with A. culbertsoni were all dead 15 days after nasal inoculation, and the mean survival time was 8.5 days. Also the mice infected with this pathogenic species mani fested typical meningoencephalitis, whereas the mice infected with A. royreba did not. Hydrolases detected both in the cell extracts and culture media were acid phosphatase, beta-N-acetyl galactosaminidase, beta-N-acetyl glucosaminidase, alpha-mannosidase, neutral proteinase and acid proteinase, all of which were detected with remarkably higher rate in A.culbertsoni than in A. royreba. A. culbertsoni revealed strong cytotoxicity for the target CHO cells, whereas A. royreba did not show any specific cytotoxicity. About 80 % of the target cells mixed with A. culbertsoni were dead 48 hours after cultivation, and more than 95% of the target cells were dead 72 hours after cultivation. Hydrolase activities in A. culbertsoni cultured with the target cell line were assayed according to the culture time. The activities of acid phosphatase, beta-N-acetyl glucosaminidase, beta-N-acetyl glucosaminidase, alpha-mannosidase and acid proteinase in this pathogenic amoeba were detected higher in amoeba extracts than in culture media up to 120 hours after cultivation, but after 120 hours of cultivation those activities were detected higher in culture media than in the amoeba lysates. Neutral proteinase activity in A. culbertsoni increased more in EBSS medium than in the lysate specimens although the activity in the extracts was generally steady according to the cultivation time. Summarizing the above results, it is concluded that there were differences in hydrolase activities between pathogenic A. culbertsoni and non-pathogenic A. royreba, and that some hydrolase activities were detected remarkably higher in A. culbertsoni which revealed strong cytotoxicity to the target CHO cell line.


Fig. 1
Specific activity of hydrolases from Acanthamoeba sp. cultured axenically in CGV medium.

(•-•; trophozoite of A. culbertsoni, •⋯•; culture medium of A. culbertsoni, ∘-∘; trophozoite of A. royreba, ∘⋯∘; culture medium of A. royreba)

Fig. 2
Specific activity of hydrolases in the lysates of A. culbertsoni trophozoites exposed to target cell monolayer and in the culture medium (EBSS).

(•-•; trophozoite of A. culbertsoni, ∘⋯∘; culture medium)


Table 1
Conditions of enzyme assay

Table 2
Mortality and survival time of mice infected with A. culbertsoni and A. royreba

Table 3
The cytotoxic effect of live Acanthamoeba spp. trophozoites on the CHO cells

Table 4
Growth of Acanthamoeba spp. in CGV medium

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