The effects of phosphanegold(I) thiolates on the biological properties of Acanthamoeba castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype

Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui, Farhat Abjani, Chien Ing Yeo, Edward R. T. Tiekink, Naveed Ahmed Khan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Gold compounds have shown promise in the treatment of non-communicable diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, and are considered of value as anti-microbial agents against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, and have anti-parasitic properties against Schistosoma mansoni, Trypanosoma brucei, Plasmodium falciparum, Leishmania infantinum, Giardia lamblia, and Entamoeba histolytica. They are known to affect enzymatic activities that are required for the cellular respiration processes.

Anti-amoebic effects of phosphanegold(I) thiolates were tested against clinical isolate of A. castellanii belonging to the T4 genotype by employing viability assays, growth inhibition assays, encystation assays, excystation assays, and zymographic assays.

The treatment of A. castellanii with the phosphanegold(I) thiolates tested (i) had no effect on the viability of A. castellanii as determined by Trypan blue exclusion test, (ii) did not affect amoebae growth using PYG growth medium, (iii) did not inhibit cellular differentiation, and (iv) had no effect on the extracellular proteolytic activities of A. castellanii.

Being free-living amoeba, A. castellanii is a versatile respirator and possesses respiratory mechanisms that adapt to various aerobic and anaerobic environments to avoid toxic threats and adverse conditions. For the first time, our findings showed that A. castellanii exhibits resistance to the toxic effects of gold compounds and could prove to be an attractive model to study mechanisms of metal resistance in eukaryotic cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalJournal of Negative Results in BioMedicine
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • Acanthamoeba
  • Gold compounds
  • Cytotoxicity assays
  • Zymography
  • Encystation
  • Excystation


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