Telomeric expression sites are highly conserved in trypanosoma brucei

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Title: Telomeric expression sites are highly conserved in trypanosoma brucei
Authors: Hertz-Fowler, C
Figueiredo, LM
Quail, MA
Becker, M
Jackson, A
Bason, N
Brooks, K
Churcher, C
Fahkro, S
Goodhead, I
Heath, P
Kartvelishvili, M
Mungall, K
Harris, D
Hauser, H
Sanders, M
Saunders, D
Seeger, K
Sharp, S
Taylor, JE
Walker, D
White, B
Young, R
Cross, GAM
Rudenko, G
Barry, JD
Louis, EJ
Berriman, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Subtelomeric regions are often under-represented in genome sequences of eukaryotes. One of the best known examples of theuse of telomere proximity for adaptive purposes are the bloodstream expression sites (BESs) of the African trypanosomeTrypanosoma brucei. To enhance our understanding of BES structure and function in host adaptation and immune evasion, theBES repertoire from the Lister 427 strain ofT. bruceiwere independently tagged and sequenced. BESs are polymorphic in sizeand structure but reveal a surprisingly conserved architecture in the context of extensive recombination. Very small BESs doexist and many functioning BESs do not contain the full complement of expression site associated genes (ESAGs). Theconsequences of duplicated or missingESAGs, includingESAG9,anewlynamedESAG12, and additional variant surfaceglycoprotein genes (VSGs) were evaluated by functional assays after BESs were tagged with a drug-resistance gene.Phylogenetic analysis of constituentESAGfamilies suggests that BESs are sequence mosaics and that extensive recombinationhas shaped the evolution of the BES repertoire. This work opens important perspectives in understanding the molecularmechanisms of antigenic variation, a widely used strategy for immune evasion in pathogens, and telomere biology.
Issue Date: 27-Oct-2008
Date of Acceptance: 21-Aug-2008
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal / Book Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 3
Issue: 10
Copyright Statement: © 2008 Hertz-Fowler et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
Funder's Grant Number: 095161/Z/10/Z
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Antigenic Variation
Cell Line
Chromosome Mapping
Cloning, Molecular
Conserved Sequence
Gene Expression Regulation
Gene Silencing
Host-Parasite Interactions
Sequence Analysis, DNA
Sequence Tagged Sites
Transcription Initiation Site
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
MD Multidisciplinary
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: e3527
Online Publication Date: 2008-10-27
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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