The role of G protein coupled receptor-mediated signaling in the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Despite advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care, the prognosis of Acanthamoeba infections remains poor, suggesting that new targets are needed that can affect parasite survival and host-pathogen interactions. G proteins and their coupled receptors are well known regulators of a variety of cellular functions. The overall aim of the present study was to study the role of G-protein coupled receptor, beta adrenergic receptor on the biology and pathogenesis of keratitis isolate of Acanthamoeba castellanii of the T4 genotype. Inhibition of beta adrenergic receptor using antagonist, propranolol had detrimental effects on the extracellular proteolytic activities A.castellanii as determined using zymographic assays. Conversely, beta adrenergic receptor agonist, isoprenaline showed increased proteases. Interestingly, beta adrenergic receptor inhibition affected A.castellanii growth (using amoebistatic assays), viability (using amoebicidal assays by measuring uptake of Trypan blue) and encystation as determined by trophozoite transformation into the cyst form. Pre-treatment of parasites with propranolol hampered A.castellanii-mediated human brain microvascular endothelial cell cytotoxicity, as measured by the lacatate dehydrogenase release. The aforementioned findings suggest that G-protein coupled receptor, beta adrenergic receptor-mediated signaling in A.castellanii biology and pathogenesis may offer new pharmacological targets.


Microbial Pathogenesis