Feb 20, 2010

Gene expression in trypanosomatid parasites

Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology
Santiago Martínez-CalvilloElisa Figueroa-Angulo

Abstract

The parasites Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma brucei, and Trypanosoma cruzi are the trypanosomatid protozoa that cause the deadly human diseases leishmaniasis, African sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease, respectively. These organisms possess unique mechanisms for gene expression such as constitutive polycistronic transcription of protein-coding genes and trans-splicing. Little is known about either the DNA sequences or the proteins that are involved in the initiation and termination of transcription in trypanosomatids. In silico analyses of the genome databases of these parasites led to the identification of a small number of proteins involved in gene expression. However, functional studies have revealed that trypanosomatids have more general transcription factors than originally estimated. Many posttranslational histone modifications, histone variants, and chromatin modifying enzymes have been identified in trypanosomatids, and recent genome-wide studies showed that epigenetic regulation might play a very important role in gene expression in this group of parasites. Here, we review and comment on the most recent findings related to transcription initiation and termination in trypanosomatid protozoa.

  • References163
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References

Mentioned in this Paper

Nannomonas
Histone antigen
Genus: Leishmania
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Leishmania
Transcription Initiation
Chagas Disease Pathway
Leishmaniasis
Transcription Factors, General
Gene Expression

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