Chloroquine Has a Cytotoxic Effect on Acanthamoeba Encystation through Modulation of Autophagy
- 김현아; 서성일; 서민호; 백원기
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- Kim, Hyun Ah; Suh, Seong Il; Suh, Min Ho; Baek, Won Ki
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- Encystation of Acanthamoeba castellanii is associated with resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Blocking the encystation process could potentiate the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents and biocides. During encystation, autophagy is highly stimulated and required for proper encystation of Acanthamoeba. In this study, the cytotoxic effect of chloroquine, a well-known autophagy-inhibitory drug, was tested in A. castellanii. Chloroquine was able to selectively reduce cell survival during the encystation of A. castellanii. However, A. castellanii trophozoites and mature cysts were resistant to chloroquine. Chloroquine treatment led to an increase in the number and size of lysosomes in encysting cells. Moreover, chloroquine inhibited the degradation of long-lived proteins in the encysting cells. Decreased autophagic flux, indicated by an increased number of lysosomes and decreased degradation of long-lived proteins, may be the mechanism by which cell death is induced by chloroquine in encysting Acanthamoeba. These results suggest a potential novel therapeutic application of chloroquine as an anti-Acanthamoeba drug. Our findings also suggest that targeting autophagy could be a therapeutic strategy against Acanthamoeba infection.
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