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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 364264, 5 pages
Research Article

Entamoeba histolytica: Gene Expression Analysis of Cells Invading Tissues

1Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
2Laboratory of Parasitology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, 38400-902 Uberlândia, MG, Brazil
3Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 5 December 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editors: M. Chenik and M. J. Perteguer

Copyright © 2014 Helen C. Fernandes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that presents a risk to the health of millions of people worldwide. Due to the existence of different clinical forms caused by the parasite and also different virulence levels presented by one strain, one would expect differences in the profile of gene transcripts between virulent and nonvirulent cultures. In this study we used the differential display to select gene segments related to invasiveness of amoeba. One Brazilian strain of E. histolytica in two conditions, able or not to cause lesions in experimental animals, was used. RNA from this strain, was used to study the differential expression of genes. 29 specific gene fragments differentially expressed in the virulent strain were selected. By real-time PCR, six of these genes had confirmed their differential expression in the virulent culture. These genes may have important roles in triggering invasive amoebiasis and may be related to adaptation of trophozoites to difficulties encountered during colonization of the intestinal epithelium and liver tissue. Future studies with these genes may elucidate its actual role in tissue invasion by E. histolytica generating new pathways for diagnosis and treatment of amoebiasis.