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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2007 Feb;151(2):193-204. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Regulated expression of glycosomal phosphoglycerate kinase in Trypanosoma brucei.

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Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie der Universität Heidelberg (ZMBH), Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


In Trypanosoma brucei, the PGKB and PGKC genes-encoding phosphoglycerate kinase are co-transcribed as part of a polycistronic RNA. PGKB mRNA and the cytosolic PGKB protein are much more abundant in the procyclic life-cycle stage than in bloodstream forms, whereas PGKC mRNA and glycosomal PGKC protein are specific to bloodstream forms. We here show that a sequence between nucleotides 558 and 779 in the 3'-untranslated region of the PGKC mRNA causes low expression of the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene in procyclic trypanosomes. In procyclics, depletion of the RRP45 component of the exosome (3'-->5' exonuclease complex) or the 5'-->3' exonuclease XRNA increased the abundance of CAT-PGKC mRNA as a consequence of effects on the degradation of precursor and/or mature mRNAs. In bloodstream forms, inhibition of both trans splicing and transcription resulted in immediate exponential decay of PGKC mRNA with a half-life of 46 min. Inhibition of transcription alone gave non-exponential kinetics and inhibition of splicing alone resulted in a longer apparent half-life. We also found that production of mRNAs using T7 polymerase can affect the apparent half-life, and that large amounts of CAT enzyme may be toxic in trypanosomes.

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