Observations placeholder

Creeping woodsorrel and amoebiasis



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2013 May;70(5):260-8. doi: 10.1002/cm.21105. Epub 2013 Apr 8. Polyunsaturated fatty acids induce polarized submembranous F-actin aggregates and kill Entamoeba histolytica. Manna D, Grewal JS, Sarkar B, Maiti S, Lohia A. Department of Biochemistry, Bose Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

We have recently identified a novel galacto-glycerolipid (GGL) from the plant Oxalis corniculata that killed the human pathogen Entamoeba histolytica.

In this study, we show that the anti-amoebic activity of GGL was due to the polyunsaturated fatty acid α-linolenic acid (C18:3 ) side chain. Treatment of α-linolenic acid to E. histolytica trophozoites disrupted the cytoskeletal network and led to polarization of F-actin at one end of the cells with prominent filopodial extensions.

In addition, clustering of surface receptors and signaling molecules was also observed adjacent to the polarized actin similar to concanavalin-A-(Con-A) induced capping. But, in contrast to Con-A-induced capping, α-linolenic acid induced caps were not shed and showed accumulation of long and numerous filopodia at the cap site. We found that α-linolenic acid disrupts the actin cytoskeletal network, which led to the detachment of plasma membrane from the underlying cytoskeleton. A similar effect was observed with other dietary fatty acids such as linoleic acid (C18:2 ), arachidonic acid (C20:4 ), eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5 ), and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6 ).

Our findings showed that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids are powerful anti-amoebic agents that lead to disruption of the actin cytoskeleton.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID: 23568815

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps