Stress granule formation in Entamoeba histolytica: cross-talk between EhMLBP, EhRLE3 reverse transcriptase and polyubiquitinated proteins



The Entamoeba histolytica-methylated LINE-binding protein (EhMLBP) binds to methylated repetitive DNA and is a positive regulator of a reverse transcriptase of a long interspersed nucleotide element (LINE). This protein protects trophozoites against heat shock by reducing protein aggregation. The presence of EhMLBP and polyubiquitinated proteins in heat shock-induced protein aggregates raised the question whether these proteins interact. This assumption was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation experiments: ubiquitinated proteins were detected in the perinuclear region of non-stressed E. histolytica trophozoites, whereas ubiquitinated proteins were detected in the perinuclear region and colocalized with EhMLBP in cytoplasmic granules in heat-shocked trophozoites. We also observed that overexpression of the reverse transcriptase of EhRLE3 induced the upregulation of EhMLBP expression and the formation of these EhMLBP-containing granules. Since (i) these EhMLBP-containing granules in the cytoplasm of heat-shocked E. histolytica trophozoites also contain polyubiquitinated proteins and poly(A)+ mRNA and (ii) their formation is promoted by sodium arsenate, puromycin, and pateamine A and is inhibited by cycloheximide, we propose that these cytoplasmic EhMLBP-containing granules are stress granules. Our data also suggest that the formation of these granules is dependent upon EhMLBP and LINE.