Repression of polymerase I-mediated gene expression at Trypanosoma brucei telomeres.

Glover, L; Horn, D; (2006) Repression of polymerase I-mediated gene expression at Trypanosoma brucei telomeres. EMBO reports, 7 (1). pp. 93-9. ISSN 1469-221X DOI:

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The African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, is a flagellated pathogenic protozoan that branched early from the eukaryotic lineage. Unusually, it uses RNA polymerase I (Pol I) for mono-telomeric expression of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes in bloodstream-form cells. Many other subtelomeric VSG genes are reversibly repressed, but no repressive DNA sequence has been identified in any trypanosomatid. Here, we show that artificially seeded de novo telomeres repress Pol I-dependent gene expression in mammalian bloodstream and insect life-cycle stages of T. brucei. In a telomeric VSG expression site, repression spreads further along the chromosome and this effect is specific to the bloodstream stage. We also show that de novo telomere extension is telomerase dependent and that the rate of extension correlates with the expression level of the adjacent gene. Our results show constitutive telomeric repression in T. brucei and indicate that an enhanced, developmental stage-specific repression mechanism controls antigenic variation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 16311518
Web of Science ID: 236142200020


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