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Cell. 1984 Nov;39(1):213-21.

Chromosome rearrangements in Trypanosoma brucei.

Abstract

We have studied chromosome rearrangements in T. brucei using pulsed field gradient gel electrophoresis to separate chromosome-sized DNA molecules. We detect size changes in a set of small chromosomes (200-700 kb) at a frequency of 10(-5) to 10(-6) per trypanosome division; this results in a radical difference in the size distribution of these chromosomes in different T. brucei isolates. Several of these chromosome rearrangements can be related to a change in the expression of surface antigen genes. Such rearrangements may be undetectable by standard gel electrophoresis and Southern blot analysis because the DNA segment transferred is too large to detect the breakpoint with the antigen gene probe. We also provide additional evidence for the notion that transcription of protein-coding genes in T. brucei and related flagellates is discontinuous. The possibility that gene rearrangements are essential for all changes in variant surface gene expression remains open.

PMID:
6488319
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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