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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2010 Jan;169(1):59-62. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2009.08.008. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Cell-cycle synchronisation of bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei using Vybrant DyeCycle Violet-based sorting.

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Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution, Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


Studies on the cell-cycle of Trypanosoma brucei have revealed several unusual characteristics that differ from the model eukaryotic organisms. However, the inability to isolate homogenous populations of parasites in distinct cell-cycle stages has limited the analysis of trypanosome cell division and complicated the understanding of mutant phenotypes with possible impact on cell-cycle related events. Although hydroxyurea-induced cell-cycle arrest in procyclic and bloodstream forms has been applied recently with success, such block-release protocols can complicate the analysis of cell-cycle regulated events and have the potential to disrupt important cell-cycle checkpoints. An alternative approach based on flow cytometry of parasites stained with Vybrant DyeCycle Orange circumvents this problem, but is restricted to procyclic form parasites. Here, we apply Vybrant Dyecycle Violet staining coupled with flow cytometry to effectively select different cell-cycle stages of bloodstream form trypanosomes. Moreover, the sorted parasites remain viable, although synchrony is rapidly lost. This method enables cell-cycle enrichment of populations of trypanosomes in their mammal infective stage, particularly at the G1 phase.

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