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The FtsZ protein is a polymer-forming GTPase which drives bacterial cell division and is structurally and functionally related to eukaryotic tubulins. We have searched for FtsZ-related sequences in all freely accessible databases, then used strict criteria based on the tertiary structure of FtsZ and its well-characterized in vitro and in vivo properties to(More)
The flagellum is attached along the length of the cell body in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei and is a defining morphological feature of this parasite. The flagellum attachment zone (FAZ) is a complex structure and has been characterised morphologically as comprising a FAZ filament structure and the specialised microtubule quartet (MtQ) plus the(More)
Throughout its elongation, the new flagellum of the procyclic form of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei is tethered at its tip to the lateral aspect of the old flagellum. This phenomenon provides a cytotactic mechanism for influencing inheritance of cellular pattern. Here, we show that this tethering is produced via a discrete, mobile transmembrane(More)
This study uses electron tomography linked to a variety of other EM methods to provide an integrated view of the flagellar pocket and basal body area of the African trypanosome procyclic trypomastigote. We reveal the pocket as an asymmetric membranous 'balloon' with two boundary structures. One of these - the collar - defines the flagellum exit point. The(More)
The defined shape and single-copy organelles of Trypanosoma brucei mean that it provides an excellent model in which to study how duplication and segregation of organelles is interfaced with morphogenesis of overall cell shape and form. The centriole or basal body of eukaryotic cells is often seen to be at the centre of such processes. We have used a(More)
Eukaryotic flagella are microtubule-based structures required for a variety of functions including cell motility and sensory perception. Most eukaryotic flagella grow out from a cell into the surrounding medium, but when the flagellum of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei exits the cell via the flagellar pocket, it is attached along the length of the(More)
Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, a devastating disease endemic to sub-Saharan Africa with few effective treatment options. The parasite is highly polarized, including a single flagellum that is nucleated at the posterior of the cell and adhered along the cell surface. These features are essential and must be(More)
Trypanosoma brucei is a protozoan parasite that causes African sleeping sickness. T. brucei multiplies extracellularly in the bloodstream, relying on antigenic variation of a dense variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) coat to escape antibody-mediated lysis. We investigated the role of VSG in proliferation and pathogenicity by using inducible RNA interference(More)
Although most eukaryotic cells can express multiple isotypes of alphabeta-tubulin, the significance of this diversity has not always been apparent. Recent data indicate that particular alphabeta-tubulin isotypes, both genome encoded and those derived by post-translational modification, can directly influence microtubule structure and function--thus(More)
One of the major drawbacks in transmission electron microscopy has been the production of three-dimensional views of cells and tissues. Currently, there is no one suitable 3D microscopy technique that answers all questions and serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SEM) fills the gap between 3D imaging using high-end fluorescence microscopy and the(More)