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The genome of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cecilia Alsmark, Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRS

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Abstract

African trypanosomes cause human sleeping sickness and livestock trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. We present the sequence and analysis of the 11 megabasesized chromosomes of Trypanosoma brucei. The 26-megabase genome contains 9068 predicted genes, including ∼900 pseudogenes and ∼1700 T. brucei-specific genes. Large subtelomeric arrays contain an archive of 806 variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes used by the parasite to evade the mammalian immune system. Most VSG genes are pseudogenes, which may be used to generate expressed mosaic genes by ectopic recombination. Comparisons of the cytoskeleton and endocytic trafficking systems with those of humans and other eukaryotic organisms reveal major differences. A comparison of metabolic pathways encoded by the genomes of T. brucei, T. cruzi, and Leishmania major reveals the least overall metabolic capability in T. brucei and the greatest in L. major. Horizontal transfer of genes of bacterial origin has contributed to some of the metabolic differences in these parasites, and a number of novel potential drug targets have been identified.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Berriman M, Ghedin E, Hertz-Fowler C, Blandin G, Renauld H, Bartholomeu DC, Lennard NJ, Caler E, Hamlin NE, Haas B, Bohme U, Hannick L, Aslett MA, Shallom J, Marcello L, Hou L, Wickstead B, Alsmark UCM, Arrowsmith C, Atkin RJ, Barron AJ, Bringaud F, Brooks K, Carrington M, Cherevach I, Chillingworth T-J, Churcher C, Clark LN, Corton CH, Cronin A, Davies RM, Doggett J, Djikeng A, Feldblyum T, Field MC, Fraser A, Goodhead I, Hance Z, Harper D, Harris BR, Hauser H, Hostetler J, Ivens A, Jagels K, Johnson D, Johnson J, Jones K, Kerhornou AX, Koo H, Larke N, Landfear S, Larkin C, Leech V, Line A, Lord A, MacLeod A, Mooney PJ, Moule S, Martin DMA, Morgan GW, Mungall K, Norbertczak H, Ormond D, Pai G, Peacock CS, Peterson J, Quail MA, Rabbinowitsch E, Rajandream M-A, Reitter C, Salzberg SL, Sanders M, Schobel S, Sharp S, Simmonds M, Simpson AJ, Tallon L, Turner CMR, Tait A, Tivey AR, Van Aken S, Walker D, Wanless D, Wang S, White B, White O, Whitehead S, Woodward J, Wortman J, Adams MD, Embley TM, Gull K, Ullu E, Barry JD, Fairlamb AH, Opperdoes F, Barrell BG, Donelson JE, Hall N, Fraser CM, Melville SE, El-Sayed NM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Science

Year: 2005

Volume: 309

Issue: 5733

Pages: 416-422

ISSN (print): 0036-8075

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9203

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1112642

DOI: 10.1126/science.1112642

PubMed id: 16020726


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Funding

Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
AI43062NIAID NIH HHS
R01 AI043062NIAID NIH HHS
U01 AI043062NIAID NIH HHS

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