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Mitochondrial tRNA import is widespread in eukaryotes. Yet, the mechanism that determines its specificity is unknown. Previous in vivo experiments using the tRNAs(Met), tRNA(Ile) and tRNA(Lys) have suggested that the T-stem nucleotide pair 51:63 is the main localization determinant of tRNAs in Trypanosoma brucei. In the cytosol-specific initiator tRNA(Met),(More)
Trypanosomatids are important human pathogens that form a basal branch of eukaryotes. Their evolutionary history is still unclear as are many aspects of their molecular biology. Here we characterize essential components required for the incorporation of serine and selenocysteine into the proteome of Trypanosoma. First, the biological function of a putative(More)
Nuclear-encoded tRNAs are universally transcribed by RNA polymerase III (Pol-III) and contain intragenic promoters. Transcription of vertebrate tRNA(Sec) however requires extragenic promoters similar to Pol-III transcribed U6 snRNA. Here, we present a comparative analysis of tRNA(Sec) transcription in humans and the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma brucei,(More)
The micronutrient selenium is found in proteins as selenocysteine (Sec), the 21st amino acid cotranslationally inserted in response to a UGA codon. In vitro studies in archaea and mouse showed that Sec-tRNA(Sec) formation is a 3-step process starting with serylation of tRNA(Sec) by seryl-tRNA synthetase (SerRS), phosphorylation of serine to form(More)
Here we show that absence of Sep-tRNA:Sec-tRNA synthase (SepSecS) a key enzyme required for the synthesis of the three trypanosomal selenoproteins does not affect growth of bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei. Both life cycle stages of T. brucei are highly sensitive to auranofin, a compound known to target selenoproteins. However, the same sensitivity(More)
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