Integrative analysis of the Trypanosoma brucei gene expression cascade predicts differential regulation of mRNA processing and unusual control of ribosomal protein expression.
ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma brucei is a unicellular parasite which multiplies in mammals (bloodstream form) and Tsetse flies (procyclic form). Trypanosome RNA polymerase II transcription is polycistronic, individual mRNAs being excised by trans splicing and polyadenylation. We previously made detailed measurements of mRNA half-lives in bloodstream and procyclic forms, and developed a mathematical model of gene expression for bloodstream forms. At the whole transcriptome level, many bloodstream-form mRNAs were less abundant than was predicted by the model.We refined the published mathematical model and extended it to the procyclic form. We used the model, together with known mRNA half-lives, to predict the abundances of individual mRNAs, assuming rapid, unregulated mRNA processing; then we compared the results with measured mRNA abundances. Remarkably, the abundances of most mRNAs in procyclic forms are predicted quite well by the model, being largely explained by variations in mRNA decay rates and length. In bloodstream forms substantially more mRNAs are less abundant than predicted. We list mRNAs that are likely to show particularly slow or inefficient processing, either in both forms or with developmental regulation. We also measured ribosome occupancies of all mRNAs in trypanosomes grown in the same conditions as were used to measure mRNA turnover. In procyclic forms there was a weak positive correlation between ribosome density and mRNA half-life, suggesting cross-talk between translation and mRNA decay; ribosome density was related to the proportion of the mRNA on polysomes, indicating control of translation initiation. Ribosomal protein mRNAs in procyclics appeared to be exceptionally rapidly processed but poorly translated.Levels of mRNAs in procyclic form trypanosomes are determined mainly by length and mRNA decay, with some control of precursor processing. In bloodstream forms variations in nuclear events play a larger role in transcriptome regulation, suggesting aquisition of new control mechanisms during adaptation to mammalian parasitism.
Project description:Trypanosome RNA polymerase II transcription is polycistronic, individual mRNAs being excised by trans splicing and polyadenylation. In this study, we refined the previously published mathematical model for bloodstream form parasites and extended it to the procyclic form. We used the model, together with known mRNA half-lives, to predict the abundances of individual mRNAs, assuming rapid, unregulated mRNA processing; then we compared the results with measured mRNA abundances. Remarkably, the abundances of most mRNAs in procyclic forms are predicted quite well by the model, being largely explained by variations in mRNA decay rates and length. In bloodstream forms substantially more mRNAs are less abundant than predicted. We list mRNAs that are likely to show particularly slow or inefficient processing, either in both forms or with developmental regulation. We also measured ribosome occupancies of all mRNAs in trypanosomes grown in the same conditions as were used to measure mRNA turnover. In procyclic forms there was a weak positive correlation between ribosome density and mRNA half-life, suggesting cross-talk between translation and mRNA decay; ribosome density was related to the proportion of the mRNA on polysomes, indicating control of translation initiation. Ribosomal protein mRNAs in procyclics appeared to be exceptionally rapidly processed but poorly translated. Through this study, we conclude that lLevels of mRNAs in procyclic form trypanosomes are determined mainly by length and mRNA decay, with some control of precursor processing. In bloodstream forms variations in nuclear events play a larger role in transcriptome regulation, suggesting acquisition of new control mechanisms during adaptation to mammalian parasitism. Ribosome profiling and mRNA libraries were constructed in triplicate from in vitro PCF and in duplicate from in vitro T. brucei Lister427, to understand global differntial gene transcription.
Project description:African trypanosomes are an excellent system for quantitative modelling of post-transcriptional mRNA control. Transcription is constitutive and polycistronic; individual mRNAs are excised by trans splicing and polyadenylation. We here measure mRNA decay kinetics in two life cycle stages, bloodstream and procyclic forms, by transcription inhibition and RNASeq. Messenger RNAs with short half-lives tend to show initial fast degradation, followed by a slower phase; they are often stabilized by depletion of the 5'-3' exoribonuclease XRNA. Many longer-lived mRNAs show initial slow degradation followed by rapid destruction: we suggest that the slow phase reflects gradual deadenylation. Developmentally regulated mRNAs often show regulated decay, and switch their decay pattern. Rates of mRNA decay are good predictors of steady state levels for short mRNAs, but mRNAs longer than 3 kb show unexpectedly low abundances. Modelling shows that variations in splicing and polyadenylation rates can contribute to steady-state mRNA levels, but this is completely dependent on competition between processing and co-transcriptional mRNA precursor destruction.
Project description:Trypanosoma brucei live in mammals as bloodstream forms and in the Tsetse midgut as procyclic forms. Differentiation from one form to the other proceeds via a growth-arrested stumpy form with low messenger RNA (mRNA) content and translation. The parasites have six eIF4Es and five eIF4Gs. EIF4E1 pairs with the mRNA-binding protein 4EIP but not with any EIF4G. EIF4E1 and 4EIP each inhibit expression when tethered to a reporter mRNA, but while tethered EIF4E1 suppresses only when 4EIP is present, suppression by tethered 4EIP does not require the interaction with EIF4E1. In growing bloodstream forms, 4EIP is preferentially associated with unstable mRNAs. Bloodstream- or procyclic-form trypanosomes lacking 4EIP have only a marginal growth disadvantage. Bloodstream forms without 4EIP are, however, defective in translation suppression during stumpy-form differentiation and cannot subsequently convert to growing procyclic forms. Intriguingly, the differentiation defect can be complemented by a truncated 4EIP that does not interact with EIF4E1. In contrast, bloodstream forms lacking EIF4E1 have a growth defect, stumpy formation seems normal, but they appear unable to grow as procyclic forms. We suggest that 4EIP and EIF4E1 fine-tune mRNA levels in growing cells, and that 4EIP contributes to translation suppression during differentiation to the stumpy form.
Project description:In most organisms, the heat-shock response involves increased heat-shock gene transcription. In Kinetoplastid protists, however, virtually all control of gene expression is post-transcriptional. Correspondingly, Trypanosoma brucei heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) synthesis after heat shock depends on regulation of HSP70 mRNA turnover. We here show that the T. brucei CCCH zinc finger protein ZC3H11 is a post-transcriptional regulator of trypanosome chaperone mRNAs. ZC3H11 is essential in bloodstream-form trypanosomes and for recovery of insect-form trypanosomes from heat shock. ZC3H11 binds to mRNAs encoding heat-shock protein homologues, with clear specificity for the subset of trypanosome chaperones that is required for protein refolding. In procyclic forms, ZC3H11 was required for stabilisation of target chaperone-encoding mRNAs after heat shock, and the HSP70 mRNA was also decreased upon ZC3H11 depletion in bloodstream forms. Many mRNAs bound to ZC3H11 have a consensus AUU repeat motif in the 3'-untranslated region. ZC3H11 bound preferentially to AUU repeats in vitro, and ZC3H11 regulation of HSP70 mRNA in bloodstream forms depended on its AUU repeat region. Tethering of ZC3H11 to a reporter mRNA increased reporter expression, showing that it is capable of actively stabilizing an mRNA. These results show that expression of trypanosome heat-shock genes is controlled by a specific RNA-protein interaction. They also show that heat-shock-induced chaperone expression in procyclic trypanosome enhances parasite survival at elevated temperatures.
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:BACKGROUND: Trypanosome gene expression is regulated almost exclusively at the post-transcriptional level, with mRNA degradation playing a decisive role. When trypanosomes are transferred from the blood of a mammal to the midgut of a Tsetse fly, they transform to procyclic forms: gene expression is reprogrammed, changing the cell surface and switching the mode of energy metabolism. Within the blood, trypanosomes can pre-adapt for Tsetse transmission, becoming growth-arrested stumpy forms. We describe here the transitions in gene expression that occur during differentiation of in-vitro cultured bloodstream forms to procyclic forms. RESULTS: Some mRNAs showed changes within 30 min of cis-aconitate addition, whereas others responded 12-24 hours later. For the first 12 h after addition of cis-aconitate, cells accumulated at the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and showed decreases in mRNAs required for proliferation, mimicking the changes seen in stumpy forms: many mRNAs needed for ribosomal and flagellar biogenesis showed striking co-regulation. Other mRNAs encoding components of signal transduction pathways and potential regulators were specifically induced only during differentiation. Messenger RNAs encoding proteins required for individual metabolic pathways were often co-regulated. CONCLUSION: Trypanosome genes form post-transcriptional regulons in which mRNAs with functions in particular pathways, or encoding components of protein complexes, show almost identical patterns of regulation.
Project description:mRNA expression profiles of trypanosomes from two discrete bloodstream form stages of the parasite (slender and stumpy forms), as well as during the transition of the stumpy population to the procyclic life-cycle stage were studied. Our analysis represents the first comparison of in vivo derived pleomorphic slender cells with genetically identical stumpy forms, and a first analysis of the dynamic changes in mRNA profile that accompany the transition to procyclic forms. Overall design: Twenty nine RNA samples were generated (5 biological replicates of Stumpy (0h), 1h, 6h, 18h and 48h, and 4 biological replicates of slender forms. Four arrays failed QC.
Project description:During natural Trypanosoma brucei infections, the parasites differentiate spontaneously into a non-dividing "stumpy" form when a certain level of parasitaemia is attained. This form is metabolically adapted for rapid further differentiation into procyclic forms upon uptake by Tsetse flies.We describe here four central Ugandan isolates of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense that have undergone only three rodent passages since isolation from human patients. As expected, SNP analysis shows that these isolates are more closely related to each other than to the commonly used strains Lister 427, Antat1.1, and TREU927. TREU927 generally has smaller copy numbers of repeated genes than the other strains, while Lister 427 trypanosomes with a 30-year history of in vitro culture and cloning have more histone genes than the other isolates. The recently isolated trypanosomes were grown in rats, and their transcriptomes characterised. In comparison with cultured procyclic and bloodstream forms, there were increases in mRNAs encoding the stumpy-form markers ESAG9 and PIP39, with coordinated alterations in the levels of over 600 additional mRNAs. Numerous mRNAs encoding proteins of no known function were either increased or decreased. The products of the mRNAs that were increased in parallel with PIP39 included not only enzymes of procyclic-form metabolism, but also components of the translational and RNA control machineries. Many of the mRNAs that were decreased in cells with elevated PIP39 reflected reduced cell division.These transcriptomes suggest new avenues for research into the regulation of trypanosome differentiation.
Project description:Differentiation in African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei) entails passage between a mammalian host, where parasites exist as a proliferative slender form or a G0-arrested stumpy form, and the tsetse fly. Stumpy forms arise at the peak of each parasitaemia and are committed to differentiation to procyclic forms that inhabit the tsetse midgut. We have identified a protein tyrosine phosphatase (TbPTP1) that inhibits trypanosome differentiation. Consistent with a tyrosine phosphatase, recombinant TbPTP1 exhibits the anticipated substrate and inhibitor profile, and its activity is impaired by reversible oxidation. TbPTP1 inactivation in monomorphic bloodstream trypanosomes by RNA interference or pharmacological inhibition triggers spontaneous differentiation to procyclic forms in a subset of committed cells. Consistent with this observation, homogeneous populations of stumpy forms synchronously differentiate to procyclic forms when tyrosine phosphatase activity is inhibited. Our data invoke a new model for trypanosome development in which differentiation to procyclic forms is prevented in the bloodstream by tyrosine dephosphorylation. It may be possible to use PTP1B inhibitors to block trypanosomatid transmission.
Project description:Polyadenylation plays an important role in regulating RNA stability in Trypanosoma brucei mitochondria. To date, little is known about the enzymes responsible for the addition of mRNA 3' tails in this system. In this study, we characterize a trypanosome homolog of the human mitochondrial poly(A) polymerase, which we term kPAP2. kPAP2 is mitochondrially localized and expressed in both bloodstream and procyclic form trypanosomes. Targeted gene depletion using RNAi showed that kPAP2 is not required for T. brucei growth in either bloodstream or procyclic life stages, nor is it essential for differentiation from bloodstream to procyclic form. We also demonstrate that steady state abundance of several mitochondrial RNAs was largely unaffected upon kPAP2 down-regulation. Interestingly, mRNA 3' tail analysis of several mRNAs from both life cycle stages in uninduced kPAP2 RNAi cells demonstrated that tail length and uridine content are both regulated in a transcript-specific manner. mRNA-specific tail lengths were maintained upon kPAP2 depletion. However, the percentage of uridine residues in 3' tails was increased, and conversely the percentage of adenosine residues was decreased, in a distinct subset of mRNAs when kPAP2 levels were down-regulated. Thus, kPAP2 apparently contributes to the incorporation of adenosine residues in 3' tails of some, but not all, mitochondrial mRNAs. Together, these data suggest that multiple nucleotidyltransferases act on mitochondrial mRNA 3' ends, and that these enzymes are somewhat redundant and subject to complex regulation.