Light and phase-contrast microscopic observations of excystment in Acanthamoeba castellanii have been used to classify cells in excysting populations as free trophozoites, or mature, activated, or preemergent cysts. These categories have been used to describe the kinetics of excystment. A pH of 7 and a temperature of 30°C have been found to be optimal for the activation of mature cysts. Both activation and emergence are inhibited by cycloheximide and actinomycin D, but neither process is much affected by hydroxyurea. Cell-free extracts of high molecular weight components of cyst cytoplasm can support protein synthesis in vitro, although less efficiently than similar extracts from trophozoites. Evidence indicates that some of the functional RNA in the cyst extracts is synthesized before excystment.

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