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© Christine Schmitt, Sophie Goyard, Jean-Marc Panaud
Trypanosoma cruzi - trypomastigote form. Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas disease.
Publication : Cellular microbiology

Antigenic variation in African trypanosomes: the importance of chromosomal and nuclear context in VSG expression control

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Cellular microbiology - 10 Oct 2013

Glover L, Hutchinson S, Alsford S, McCulloch R, Field MC, Horn D

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24047558

Cell. Microbiol. 2013 Dec;15(12):1984-93

African trypanosomes are lethal human and animal parasites that use antigenic variation for evasion of host adaptive immunity. To facilitate antigenic variation, trypanosomes dedicate approximately one third of their nuclear genome, including many minichromosomes, and possibly all sub-telomeres, to variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes and associated sequences. Antigenic variation requires transcription of a single VSG by RNA polymerase I (Pol-I), with silencing of other VSGs, and periodic switching of the expressed gene, typically via DNA recombination with duplicative translocation of a new VSG to the active site. Thus, telomeric location, epigenetic controls and monoallelic transcription by Pol-I at an extranucleolar site are prominent features of VSGs and their expression, with telomeres, chromatin structure and nuclear organization all making vitally important contributions to monoallelic VSG expression control and switching. We discuss VSG transcription, recombination and replication control within this chromosomal and sub-nuclear context.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24047558