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Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Nov 11;17(21):8727-39.

Duplication and transcription of procyclin genes in Trypanosoma brucei.

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Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Genetik und Toxikologie, Karlsruhe, FRG.


The genes encoding procyclin, the major glycoprotein expressed on the surface of procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei, comprise a multigene family. It has previously been demonstrated that procyclin genes in cloned trypanosome strains from Kenya and Uganda show restriction fragment polymorphisms. A detailed study of the Kenyan strain 227 has revealed that procyclin genes are arranged in tandem at 3 distinct loci (Pro A, B and C) and that the polymorphism is due to the duplication of 1.3 kb in the Pro A locus, which has generated an additional procyclin gene. Northern blot analysis has shown that at least 2 loci are transcribed and that a minimum of 3 procyclin genes are expressed within a cloned line. The transcription of procyclin genes is resistant to 1 mg ml-1 alpha-amanitin, whereas that of the 5' flanking gene in the Pro A locus is sensitive. This observation suggests that the two genes form part of separate transcription units with a promoter between them.

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