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Protein-coding genes of trypanosomes are mainly transcribed polycistronically and cleaved into functional mRNAs in a process that requires trans splicing of a capped 39-nucleotide RNA derived from a short transcript, the spliced-leader (SL) RNA. SL RNA genes are individually transcribed from the only identified trypanosome RNA polymerase II promoter. We(More)
Trypanosoma brucei and the other members of the trypanosomatid family of parasitic protozoa, contain an unusual RNA polymerase II enzyme, uncoordinated mRNA 5' capping and transcription initiation events, and most likely contain an abridged set of transcription factors. Pre-mRNA start sites remain elusive. In addition, two important life cycle(More)
Spliced leader RNA transcription is essential for cell viability in trypanosomes. The SL RNA genes are expressed from the only defined RNA polymerase II-dependent promoter identified to date in the trypanosome genome. The SL RNA gene promoter has been shown by in vitro and in vivo analyses to have a tripartite architecture. The upstream most cis-acting(More)
Thermodynamic processes with free energy parameters are often used in algorithms that solve the free energy minimization problem to predict secondary structures of single RNA sequences. While results from these algorithms are promising, an observation is that single sequence-based methods have moderate accuracy and more information is needed to improve on(More)
In Trypanosoma brucei, transcription by RNA polymerase II accounts for the expression of the spliced leader (SL) RNA and most protein coding mRNAs. To understand the regulation of RNA polymerase II transcription in these parasites, we have purified a transcriptionally active enzyme through affinity chromatography of its essential subunit, RPB4. The enzyme(More)
Typical general transcription factors, such as TATA binding protein and TFII B, have not yet been identified in any member of the Trypanosomatidae family of parasitic protozoa. Interestingly, mRNA coding genes do not appear to have discrete transcriptional start sites, although in most cases they require an RNA polymerase that has the biochemical properties(More)
The stability of mRNAs is an important point in the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. The mRNA turnover pathways have been identified in yeast and mammals. However, mRNA turnover pathways in trypanosomes have not been widely studied. Deadenylation is the first step in the major mRNA turnover pathways of yeast and mammals. To better understand(More)
A simple and reproducible assay for DNA-mediated transfection in the trypanosomatid protozoan Leptomonas seymouri has been developed. The assay is based on expression of the Escherichia coli chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene flanked by Leptomonas DNA fragments that are likely to contain necessary elements for gene expression in trypanosomes.(More)
Transcription by RNA polymerase II in trypanosomes deviates from the standard eukaryotic paradigm. Genes are transcribed polycistronically and subsequently cleaved into functional mRNAs, requiring trans splicing of a capped 39-nucleotide leader RNA derived from a short transcript, the spliced leader (SL) RNA. The only identified trypanosome RNA polymerase(More)
Mature mRNAs of trypanosomatid protozoa result from the joining of at least two exons, which are initially transcribed as separate RNAs. In all trypanosomatids examined to date, the first exon (mini-exon) is encoded by approximately 200 tandemly reiterated genes. In characterizing the mini-exon genes of Leptomonas seymouri, we identified two predominant(More)