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The genome of Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis, was published five years ago, yet identification of all genes and their transcripts remains to be accomplished. Annotation is challenged by the organization of genes transcribed by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) into long unidirectional gene clusters with no knowledge of how(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) pathways are widespread in metaozoans but the genes required show variable occurrence or activity in eukaryotic microbes, including many pathogens. While some Leishmania lack RNAi activity and Argonaute or Dicer genes, we show that Leishmania braziliensis and other species within the Leishmania subgenus Viannia elaborate active RNAi(More)
The crystal structure of the monoclinic form of yeast phenylalanine tRNA has been redetermined at a resolution of 1.93 A. The structure of yeast tRNAphe described here is more accurate than its predecessors not only because it incorporates higher resolution data, but also because it has been refined using techniques that had not been developed when its(More)
Most RNA polymerase III transcripts are bound immediately after synthesis by an abundant nuclear phosphoprotein known as the La autoantigen. Experiments performed in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have revealed that binding of the La protein to tRNA precursors is required for the endonucleolytic maturation of the 3' terminus of many tRNAs. In(More)
Trypanosoma brucei is one of the most ancient eukaryotes where RNA interference (RNAi) is operational and is the only single-cell pathogen where RNAi has been extensively studied and used as a tool for functional analyses. Here, we report that the T. brucei RNAi pathway, although relying on a single Argonaute protein (AGO1), is initiated by the activities(More)
Members of the Argonaute protein family have been linked through a combination of genetic and biochemical studies to RNA interference (RNAi) and related phenomena. Here, we describe the characterization of the first Argonaute protein (AGO1) in Trypanosoma brucei, the earliest divergent eukaryote where RNAi has been described so far. AGO1 is predominantly(More)
The 60-kDa Ro autoantigen is normally complexed with small cytoplasmic RNAs known as Y RNAs. In Xenopus oocytes, the Ro protein is also complexed with a large class of variant 5S rRNA precursors that are folded incorrectly. Using purified baculovirus-expressed protein, we show that the 60-kDa Ro protein binds directly to both Y RNAs and misfolded 5S rRNA(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionarily conserved gene-silencing pathway that is triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Central to this pathway are two ribonucleases: Dicer, a multidomain RNase III family enzyme that initiates RNAi by generating small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and Argonaute or Slicer, an RNase H signature enzyme that affects(More)
In both vertebrate and invertebrate cells, the 60-kDa Ro autoantigen is bound to small cytoplasmic RNAs known as Y RNAs. In Xenopus oocytes, the 60-kDa Ro protein is also complexed with a class of 5S rRNA precursors that contain internal mutations. Because these 5S rRNA precursors are processed inefficiently and degraded eventually, the Ro protein may(More)
At the core of the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway in Trypanosoma brucei is a single Argonaute protein, Tb AGO1, with an established role in controlling retroposon and repeat transcripts. Recent evidence from higher eukaryotes suggests that a variety of genomic sequences with the potential to produce double-stranded RNA are sources for small interfering(More)