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Gene. 1994 Jun 24;144(1):45-51.

Expression of the Leishmania tarentolae ubiquitin-encoding and mini-exon genes.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


To develop models for transcription and trans-splicing in kinetoplastid protozoa, we have characterized ubiquitin (Ubi) gene organization and mRNA processing in Leishmania tarentolae (Lt). Three ubi loci were characterized: two discrete Ubi-extension protein 52 (EP52)-encoding genes (ubiA and ubiB) and a polymorphic polyubiquitin-encoding gene (ubiC). The three loci resided on chromosomes of 2.05 Mb, 630 kb and 2.9 Mb, respectively. On the basis of upstream flanking gene identity, ubiB appears to be the homologue of the tandemly repeated ubi-EP52/1 and 2 in Trypanosoma brucei (Tb). Similar to Trypanosoma cruzi, Lt did not contain a homologue of the ubi-EP76 that has been found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and multicellular organisms. All three Lt ubi loci were transcribed. The primary transcripts from the ubi loci were processed at the 5'-end by trans-splicing with the mini-exon. A Lt mini-exon gene (min) that gave rise to a 95-nt primary transcript, which is the second template in the trans-splicing reaction, was also characterized.

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