The effect of jasplakinolide, an actin-polymerizing and filament-stabilizing drug, on the growth, encystation, and actin cytoskeleton of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba invadens was examined. Jasplakinolide inhibited the growth of E. histolytica strain HM-1:IMSS and E. invadens strain IP-1 in a concentration-dependent manner, the latter being more resistant to the drug. The inhibitory effect of jasplakinolide on the growth of E. histolytica trophozoites was reversed by removal of the drug after exposure to 1 µM for 1 day. Encystation of E. invadens as induced in vitro was also inhibited by jasplakinolide. Trophozoites exposed to jasplakinolide in encystation medium for 1 day did not encyst after removal of the drug, whereas those exposed to the drug in growth medium for 7 days did encyst without the drug. The process of cyst maturation was unaffected by jasplakinolide. Large round structures were formed in trophozoites of both amoebae grown with jasplakinolide; these were identified as F-actin aggregates by staining with fluorescent phalloidin. Accumulation in trophozoites of both amoebae of actin aggregates was observed after culture in jasplakinolide. Also, E. invadens cysts formed from trophozoites treated with jasplakinolide contained the actin aggregate. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analysis revealed that the jasplakinolide treatment led to an increase in the proportion of F-actin associated with formation of the aggregate. The results suggest that aggregates are formed from the cortical flow of F-actin filaments, and that these filaments would normally be depolymerized but are artificially stabilized by jasplakinolide binding.

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