Authors:D. M. Faust, J. Marquay Markiewicz, J. Santi-Rocca, and Nancy Guillen
Amoebiasis is the third worldwide disease due to a parasite. The causative agent of this disease, the unicellular eukaryote Entamoeba histolytica, causes dysentery and liver abscesses associated with inflammation and human cell death. During liver invasion, before entering the parenchyma, E. histolytica trophozoites are in contact with liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC). We present data characterizing human LSEC responses to interaction with E. histolytica and identifying amoebic factors involved in the process of cell death in this cell culture model potentially relevant for early steps of hepatic amoebiasis. E. histolytica interferes with host cell adhesion signalling and leads to diminished adhesion and target cell death. Contact with parasites induces disruption of actin stress fibers and focal adhesion complexes. We conclude that interference with LSEC signalling may result from amoeba-triggered changes in the mechanical forces in the vicinity of cells in contact with parasites, sensed and transmitted by focal adhesion complexes. The study highlights for the first time the potential role in the onset of hepatic amoebiasis of the loss of liver endothelium integrity by disturbance of focal adhesion function and adhesion signalling. Among the amoebic factors required for changed LSEC adherence properties we identified the Gal/GalNAC lectin, cysteine proteases and KERP1.