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African trypanosomes cause human sleeping sickness and livestock trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. We present the sequence and analysis of the 11 megabase-sized chromosomes of Trypanosoma brucei. The 26-megabase genome contains 9068 predicted genes, including approximately 900 pseudogenes and approximately 1700 T. brucei-specific genes. Large(More)
African trypanosomes are unicellular, eukaryotic parasites that live extracellularly in a wide range of mammals, including humans. They have a surface coat, composed of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG), which probably is essential and acts as a defence against general innate immunity and against acquired immunity directed at invariant surface antigens. In(More)
Subtelomeric regions are often under-represented in genome sequences of eukaryotes. One of the best known examples of the use of telomere proximity for adaptive purposes are the bloodstream expression sites (BESs) of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei. To enhance our understanding of BES structure and function in host adaptation and immune evasion,(More)
Trypanosoma brucei evades host acquired immunity through differential activation of its large archive of silent variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes, most of which are pseudogenes in subtelomeric arrays. We have analyzed 940 VSGs, representing one half to two thirds of the arrays. Sequence types A and B of the VSG N-terminal domains were confirmed,(More)
The Caenorhabditis elegans cuticle collagens are encoded by a multigene family of between 50 and 100 members and are the major component of the nematode cuticular exoskeleton. They are synthesized in the hypodermis prior to secretion and incorporation into the cuticle and exhibit complex patterns of spatial and temporal expression. We have investigated the(More)
Contingency genes are common in pathogenic microbes and enable, through pre-emptive mutational events, rapid, clonal switches in phenotype that are conducive to survival and proliferation in hosts. Antigenic variation, which is a highly successful survival strategy employed by eubacterial and eukaryotic pathogens, involves large repertoires of distinct(More)
African trypanosomes are extracellular protozoan parasites that are transmitted from one mammalian host to the next by tsetse flies. Bloodstream forms express variant surface glycoprotein (VSG); the tsetse fly (procyclic) forms express instead the procyclic acidic repetitive protein (PARP). PARP mRNA is abundant in procyclic forms and almost undetectable in(More)
A number of mechanisms have been described by which African trypanosomes undergo the genetic switches that differentially activate their variant surface glycoprotein genes (VSGs) and bring about antigenic variation. These mechanisms have been observed mainly in trypanosome lines adapted, by rapid syringe passaging, to laboratory conditions. Such(More)
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is contained within a multifunctional exoskeleton, the cuticle, that contains a large number of distinct collagens. As the nematode proceeds from the egg through four larval stages to the adult, transition between larval stages is marked by synthesis of a new cuticle and subsequent moulting of the old one. This is a(More)
Antigenic variation is an immune evasion strategy used by African trypanosomes, in which the parasites periodically switch the expression of VSG genes that encode their protective variant surface glycoprotein coat. Two main routes exist for VSG switching: changing the transcriptional status between an active and an inactive copy of the site of VSG(More)