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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2015;50(3):256-67. doi: 10.3109/10409238.2015.1042541. Epub 2015 May 19.

The response of trypanosomes and other eukaryotes to ER stress and the spliced leader RNA silencing (SLS) pathway in Trypanosoma brucei.

Author information

1
a The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Institute, Bar-Ilan University , Ramat-Gan , Israel.

Abstract

The unfolded protein response (UPR) is induced when the quality control machinery of the cell is overloaded with unfolded proteins or when one of the functions of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is perturbed. Here, I describe UPR in yeast and mammals, and compare it to what we know about pathogenic fungi and the parasitic protozoans from the order kinetoplastida, focusing on the novel pathway the spliced leader silencing (SLS) in Trypanosoma brucei. Trypanosomes lack conventional transcription regulation, and thus, lack most of the UPR machinery present in other eukaryotes. Trypanosome genes are transcribed in polycistronic units that are processed by trans-splicing and polyadenylation. In trans-splicing, which is essential for processing of each mRNA, an exon known as the spliced leader (SL) is added to all mRNAs from a small RNA, the SL RNA. Under severe ER stress, T. brucei elicits the SLS pathway. In SLS, the transcription of the SL RNA gene is extinguished, and the entire transcription complex dissociates from the SL RNA promoter. Induction of SLS is mediated by an ER-associated kinase (PK3) that migrates to the nucleus, where it phosphorylates the TATA-binding protein (TRF4), leading shut-off of SL RNA transcription. As a result, trans-splicing is inhibited and the parasites activate a programmed cell death (PCD) pathway. Despite the ability to sense the ER stress, the different eukaryotes, especially unicellular parasites and pathogenic fungi, developed a variety of unique and different ways to sense and adjust to this stress in a manner different from their host.

KEYWORDS:

Pathogenic fungi; Trypanosomatids; spliced leader RNA silencing; unfolded protein response

PMID:
25985970
DOI:
10.3109/10409238.2015.1042541
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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