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DNA Cell Biol. 2000 Jan;19(1):47-57.

Molecular characterization of KMP11 from Trypanosoma cruzi: a cytoskeleton-associated protein regulated at the translational level.

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Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López Neyra, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Granada, Spain.


Kinetoplasmid membrane protein-11 (KMP11) is present in a wide range of trypanosomatids. In the present paper, we show that the T. cruzi KMP11 gene is organized in a cluster formed by four gene units arranged in a head-to-tail tandem manner located on a chromosome of about 1900 kb. Northern blot analyses indicated that the steady-state level of mature KMP11 transcripts of 0.52 kb is high and similar in the three forms of the parasite. The KMP11 mRNAs have a half-life of about 16 h whose steady-state level is strongly downregulated when the parasites reach the stationary growth phase. The T. cruzi KMP11 sequence presents a significant homology with the amino-terminal third of the cytoskeleton-associated protein CIP1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. Western blot and immunoelectron microscopy studies showed that KMP11 is present in the cytoskeleton structure. Because the strong downregulation observed in the de novo synthesis of KMP11 protein in parasites treated with vinblastine is not accompanied by a significant fall in the steady-state level of KMP11 mRNAs, regulatory control of the protein at the translational level is suggested.

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