Link to DOI – doi.org/10.3390/ijms24108726
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24, 8726
Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite and the causative agent of amoebiasis in humans. This amoeba invades human tissues by taking advantage of its actin-rich cytoskeleton to move, enter the tissue matrix, kill and phagocyte the human cells. During tissue invasion, E. histolytica moves from the intestinal lumen across the mucus layer and enters the epithelial parenchyma. Faced with the chemical and physical constraints of these diverse environments, E. histolytica has developed sophisticated systems to integrate internal and external signals and to coordinate cell shape changes and motility. Cell signalling circuits are driven by interactions between the parasite and extracellular matrix, combined with rapid responses from the mechanobiome in which protein phosphorylation plays an important role. To understand the role of phosphorylation events and related signalling mechanisms, we targeted phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases followed by live cell imaging and phosphoproteomics. The results highlight 1150 proteins, out of the 7966 proteins within the amoebic proteome, as members of the phosphoproteome, including signalling and structural molecules involved in cytoskeletal activities. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases alters phosphorylation in important members of these categories; a finding that correlates with changes in amoeba motility and morphology, as well as a decrease in actin-rich adhesive structures.