A Conserved DNA Repeat Promotes Selection of a Diverse Repertoire of Surface Antigens from the Genomic Archive


Chromosomal translocations can fuel genetic change or cause catastrophic genomic damage. African trypanosomes, exemplified by Trypanosoma brucei sub-species, are unicellular parasites that can chronically infect their human and livestock hosts by using a strategy of antigenic variation by which they repeatedly change their protein coats. Switching the surface coat requires the accurate selection and translocation of a single silent coat gene, from a large genomic archive, into an actively transcribed site. How the coat genes from within this deep archive are selected and activated was unproven. Here we show that a specific repetitive DNA sequence is required to access coat genes from diverse sites within the genome. The likely outcome of restricting this process of coat gene selection in natural infections would be a reduction in the chronic nature of African trypanosomiasis.


Vyšlo v časopise: A Conserved DNA Repeat Promotes Selection of a Diverse Repertoire of Surface Antigens from the Genomic Archive. PLoS Genet 12(5): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005994
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005994

Souhrn

Chromosomal translocations can fuel genetic change or cause catastrophic genomic damage. African trypanosomes, exemplified by Trypanosoma brucei sub-species, are unicellular parasites that can chronically infect their human and livestock hosts by using a strategy of antigenic variation by which they repeatedly change their protein coats. Switching the surface coat requires the accurate selection and translocation of a single silent coat gene, from a large genomic archive, into an actively transcribed site. How the coat genes from within this deep archive are selected and activated was unproven. Here we show that a specific repetitive DNA sequence is required to access coat genes from diverse sites within the genome. The likely outcome of restricting this process of coat gene selection in natural infections would be a reduction in the chronic nature of African trypanosomiasis.


Zdroje

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