Acanthamoeba castellanii exhibits intron retention during encystment

Alvaro De Obeso Fernandez Del Valle*, Jesus Gomez-Montalvo, Sutherland K Maciver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Intron retention (IR) refers to the mechanism of alternative splicing in which an intron is not excised from the mature transcript. IR in the cosmopolitan free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii has not been studied. We performed an analysis of RNA sequencing data during encystment to identify genes that presented differentially retained introns during this process. We show that IR increases during cyst formation, indicating a potential mechanism of gene regulation that could help downregulate metabolism. We identify 69 introns from 67 genes that are differentially retained comparing the trophozoite stage and encystment after 24 and 48 h. These genes include several hypothetical proteins. We show different patterns of IR during encystment taking as examples a lipase, a peroxin-3 protein, an Fbox domain containing protein, a proteasome subunit, a polynucleotide adenylyltransferase, and a tetratricopeptide domain containing protein. A better understanding of IR in Acanthamoeba, and even other protists, could help elucidate changes in life cycle and combat disease such as Acanthamoeba keratitis in which the cyst is key for its persistence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2615-2622
Number of pages11
JournalParasitology Research
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Acanthamoeba
  • Intron retention
  • Encystment
  • Alternative splicing


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