Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jul 28;33(13):4235-42. Print 2005.

Assigning functions to genes: identification of S-phase expressed genes in Leishmania major based on post-transcriptional control elements.

Author information

Department of Parasitology, The Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


Assigning functions to genes is one of the major challenges of the post-genomic era. Usually, functions are assigned based on similarity of the coding sequences to sequences of known genes, or by identification of transcriptional cis-regulatory elements that are known to be associated with specific pathways or conditions. In trypanosomatids, where regulation of gene expression takes place mainly at the post-transcriptional level, new approaches for function assignment are needed. Here we demonstrate the identification of novel S-phase expressed genes in Leishmania major, based on a post-transcriptional control element that was recognized in Crithidia fasciculata as involved in the cell cycle-dependent expression of several nuclear and mitochondrial S-phase expressed genes. Hypothesizing that a similar regulatory mechanism is manifested in L.major, we have applied a computational search for similar control elements in the genome of L.major. Our computational scan yielded 132 genes, of which 33% are homologues of known DNA metabolism genes and 63% lack any annotation. Experimental testing of seven of these genes revealed that their mRNAs cycle throughout the cell cycle, reaching a maximum level during S-phase or just prior to it. It is suggested that screening for post-transcriptional control elements associated with a specific function provides an efficient method for assigning functions to trypanosomatid genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center