Project description:Gradient fractions of RNAi of XAC1 (Tb927.7.2780) in Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream forms. RNAi was induced using tetracycline and cell extracts were fractionated into polysomal and monosome-non-ribosome-associated fractions.
Project description:Kinetoplastids rely heavily on post-transcriptional mechanisms for control of gene expression, and on RNA-binding proteins that regulate mRNA splicing, translation and decay. Trypanosoma brucei ERBP1 (Tb927.10.14150) and ERBP2 (Tb927.9.9550) were previously identified as mRNA binding proteins that lack canonical RNA-binding domains. We show here that ERBP1 is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum, like ERBP2, and that the two proteins interact in vivo. Loss of ERBP1 from bloodstream-form T. brucei initially resulted in a growth defect but proliferation was restored after more prolonged cultivation. Pull-down analysis of tagged ERBP1 suggests that it preferentially binds to ribosomal protein mRNAs. The ERBP1 sequence resembles that of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bfr1, which also localises to the endoplasmic reticulum and binds to ribosomal protein mRNAs. However, unlike Bfr1, ERBP1 does not bind to mRNAs encoding secreted proteins, and it is also not recruited to stress granules after starvation.
Project description:In nearly all eukaryotes, cellular differentiation is governed by changes in transcription, and stabilized by chromatin and DNA modification. Gene expression control in the pathogen Trypanosoma brucei, in contrast, relies almost exclusively on post-transcriptional mechanisms, so RNA binding proteins must assume the burden that is usually borne by transcription factors. T. brucei multiply in the blood of mammals as bloodstream forms, and in the midgut of Tsetse flies as procyclic forms. We show here that a single RNA-binding protein, RBP10, promotes the bloodstream-form trypanosome differentiation state. Depletion of RBP10 from bloodstream-form trypanosomes gives cells that can grow only as procyclic forms; conversely, expression of RBP10 in procyclic forms converts them to bloodstream forms. RBP10 binds to procyclic-specific mRNAs containing an UAUUUUUU motif, targeting them for translation repression and destruction. Products of RBP10 target mRNAs include not only the major procyclic surface protein and enzymes of energy metabolism, but also protein kinases and stage-specific RNA-binding proteins: this suggests that alterations in RBP10 trigger a regulatory cascade.
Project description:Topoisomerase-II accumulates at centromeres during prometaphase, where it resolves the DNA catenations that represent the last link between sister chromatids. Previously, using approaches including etoposide-mediated topoisomerase-II cleavage, we mapped centromeric domains in trypanosomes, early branching eukaryotes in which chromosome segregation is poorly understood. Here, we show that in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei, RNAi-mediated depletion of topoisomerase-II?, but not topoisomerase-II?, results in the abolition of centromere-localized activity and is lethal. Both phenotypes can be rescued by expression of the corresponding enzyme from T. cruzi. Therefore, processes which govern centromere-specific topoisomerase-II accumulation/activation have been functionally conserved within trypanosomes, despite the long evolutionary separation of these species and differences in centromeric DNA organization. The variable carboxyl terminal region of topoisomerase-II has a major role in regulating biological function. We therefore generated T. brucei lines expressing T. cruzi topoisomerase-II truncated at the carboxyl terminus and examined activity at centromeres after the RNAi-mediated depletion of the endogenous enzyme. A region necessary for nuclear localization was delineated to six residues. In other organisms, sumoylation of topoisomerase-II has been shown to be necessary for regulated chromosome segregation. Evidence that we present here suggests that sumoylation of the T. brucei enzyme is not required for centromere-specific cleavage activity.