Polar tube proteins of microsporidia of the family encephalitozoonidae

Elaine M. Keohane, George A. Orr, Peter M. Takvorian, Ann Cali, Herbert B. Tanowitz, Murray Wittner, Louis M. Weiss

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27 Scopus citations


Encephalitozoonidae are microsporidia associated with human infections including hepatitis, encephalitis, conjunctivitis, and disseminated disease. Microsporidia produce a small resistant spore containing a polar tube which serves as a unique vehicle of infection. Polar tube proteins (PTPs) from Encephalitozoon hellem, Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi were purified to homogeneity by HPLC. By SDS-PAGE, the Mr of E. hellem PTP was 55 kDa, while the Mr of E. intestinalis and E. cuniculi PTP was 45 kDa. Polyclonal rabbit antiserum to these purified PTPs localized to polar filaments by immunogold electron microscopy and immunofluorescence, and demonstrated cross-reactivity by both immunoblotting and immunogold electron microscopy. These PTPs have similar solubility properties, hydrophobicity, and proline content to a 43-kDa PTP we have previously purified from Glugea americanus, a fish microsporidium. As the polar tube is critical in the transmission of this organism, further study of PTPs may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies and diagnostic tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Microspora
  • Microsporidia
  • Polar filament
  • Polar tube
  • Polar tube protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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