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African trypanosomes are major pathogens of humans and livestock and represent a model for studies of unusual protozoal biology. We describe a high-throughput phenotyping approach termed RNA interference (RNAi) target sequencing, or RIT-seq that, using Illumina sequencing, maps fitness-costs associated with RNAi. We scored the abundance of >90,000(More)
The concept of disease-specific chemotherapy was developed a century ago. Dyes and arsenical compounds that displayed selectivity against trypanosomes were central to this work, and the drugs that emerged remain in use for treating human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). The importance of understanding the mechanisms underlying selective drug action and(More)
Antigenic variation in African trypanosomes requires monoallelic transcription and switching of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes. The transcribed VSG, always flanked by '70 bp'-repeats and telomeric-repeats, is either replaced through DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair or transcriptionally inactivated. However, little is known about the(More)
A major obstacle to reproducible expression of recombinant transcripts lies in the epigenetic effects of the flanking chromatin following integration. We previously presented a strategy to overcome this problem in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei, using a reporter to identify a ribosomal-spacer locus that supports optimal expression and then marking that(More)
In Trypanosoma brucei, RNA interference (RNAi) and recombinant protein expression are established as powerful approaches for functional genomics, particularly when combined with inducible expression. The favoured methods involve exploiting homologous recombination to target expression cassettes to a chromosome sub-set to establish stable cell lines.(More)
Silent information regulator 2 (Sir2)-related proteins or sirtuins function as NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases or ADP ribosylases that target a range of substrates, thereby influencing chromatin structure and a diverse range of other biological functions. Genes encoding three Sir2-related proteins (SIR2rp1-3) have been identified in the parasitic(More)
Chromatin modification is important for virtually all aspects of DNA metabolism but little is known about the consequences of such modification in trypanosomatids, early branching protozoa of significant medical and veterinary importance. MYST-family histone acetyltransferases in other species function in transcription regulation, DNA replication,(More)
The histones are responsible for packaging and regulating access to eukaryotic genomes. Trypanosomatids are flagellated protists that diverged early from the eukaryotic lineage and include parasites that cause disease in humans and other mammals. Here, we review the properties of histones in parasitic trypanosomatids, from gene organization and sequence to(More)
Antigenic variation in African trypanosomes involves monoallelic expression and reversible silencing of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes found adjacent to telomeres in polycistronic expression sites (ESs). We assessed the impact on ES silencing of five candidate essential chromatin-associated factors that emerged from a genome-wide RNA interference(More)
Eukaryotic chromosomes are capped with telomeres which allow complete chromosome replication and prevent the ends from being recognized by the repair machinery. The African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, is a protozoan parasite where antigenic variation requires reversible silencing of a repository of telomere-adjacent variant surface glycoprotein (VSG)(More)