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RNA splicing is required to make the messenger RNA for a variant surface antigen in trypanosomes

RNA splicing is required to make the messenger RNA for a variant surface antigen in trypanosomes

Nucleic Acids Research 10(12): 3591-3604

The expression of the gene for variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) 118 in Trypanosoma brucei is activated by transposing a DNA segment containing the gene and 1-2 kb in front of it to an expression site elsewhere in the genome. By S1 nuclease protection and RNA blotting experiments we show here the presence of several minor transcripts in trypanosomes synthesizing VSG 118, one of which covers the entire transposed segment. Comparison of the sequence of the 5' terminal segment of VSG 118 messenger RNA (mRNA), determined by primed reverse transcription, and the corresponding region of the 118 VSG gene, shows that the 5' terminal 34 nucleotides of the mRNA are not encoded in the 118 VSG gene contiguous with the remainder of the mRNA. We conclude that synthesis of a VSG mRNA involves splicing of a much longer primary transcript, which may start outside the transposed segment.

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Accession: 000962774

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PMID: 6287414

DOI: 10.1093/nar/10.12.3591

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