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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2001 Jul;115(2):177-87.

The Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial ATP synthase is developmentally regulated at the level of transcript stability.

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253 Biomedical Research Building, Department of Microbiology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14214, Buffalo, NY, USA.


The mitochondrial ATP synthase is developmentally regulated throughout the life cycle of the Trypanosoma brucei. The alpha and beta subunits of the F(1) moiety, and subunit 9 of the F(0) moiety of the T. brucei ATP synthase have been previously cloned and characterized. Here we have determined the chromosomal localization and developmental regulation of these three key subunits of the complex. Southern blot analysis indicates that all three of these genes are present as single copies in the T. brucei genome. Pulsed field gel analysis demonstrates that these genes are encoded in different chromosomes, and are thus not part of the same gene cluster. A comparison between the protein and steady state transcript levels for these subunits suggests that regulation of expression occurs predominantly posttranscriptionally. Comparison of mRNA stability for procyclic and bloodstream forms shows that the half life of the three transcripts is much shorter in bloodstream forms. The differences in transcript stability in the procyclic form for subunit 9 is greater than that for alpha and beta subunits, while the differences at the protein levels are comparable. These results suggest that there may be further posttranscriptional regulation of subunit 9.

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