Letter | Published:

Carbohydrate binding proteins involved in phagocytosis by Acanthamoeba

Abstract

THE soil sarcodinid Acanthamoeba castellanii grows readily in axenic culture1,2 or in monoxenic conditions with a variety of bacteria as food organisms3. The reduced growth of this organism in the absence of particulate material4 suggests that even under axenic conditions the formation of phagocytic vesicles is important in the uptake of nutrients, as in Tetrahymena5. We present evidence that the preferential uptake by A. castellanii of horse red blood cells over those from other sources6 is caused by binding of these cells to carbohydrate sensitive sites on the surface of the amoebae, and that these sites may function in the same way in the amoeba's natural habitat.

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