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Mol Microbiol. 2016 Nov;102(4):672-689. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13485. Epub 2016 Sep 14.

UAP56 is a conserved crucial component of a divergent mRNA export pathway in Toxoplasma gondii.

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Instituto Carlos Chagas, FIOCRUZ, Curitiba, Brazil.
Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil.
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, University of Glasgow, UK.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Nucleo-cytoplasmic RNA export is an essential post-transcriptional step to control gene expression in eukaryotic cells and is poorly understood in apicomplexan parasites. With the exception of UAP56, a component of TREX (Transcription Export) complex, other components of mRNA export machinery are not well conserved in divergent supergroups. Here, we use Toxoplasma gondii as a model system to functionally characterize TgUAP56 and its potential interaction factors. We demonstrate that TgUAP56 is crucial for mRNA export and that functional interference leads to significant accumulation of mRNA in the nucleus. It was necessary to employ bioinformatics and phylogenetic analysis to identify orthologs related to mRNA export, which show a remarkable low level of conservation in T. gondii. We adapted a conditional Cas9/CRISPR system to carry out a genetic screen to verify if these factors were involved in mRNA export in T. gondii. Only the disruption of TgRRM_1330 caused accumulation of mRNA in the nucleus as found with TgUAP56. This protein is potentially a divergent partner of TgUAP56, and provides insight into a divergent mRNA export pathway in apicomplexans.

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