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Co-duplication of a variant surface glycoprotein gene and its promoter to an expression site in African trypanosomes



Co-duplication of a variant surface glycoprotein gene and its promoter to an expression site in African trypanosomes



Journal of Biological Chemistry 272(39): 24637-24645



Activation of the metacyclic variant antigen type 7 (MVAT7) variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) gene in bloodstream Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense involves a duplicative transposition of the gene. The DNA transposition unit extends from a site approximately 3.0 kilobases upstream of the VSG gene through the coding region and includes a 73-base pair sequence that possesses promoter activity in transient transfections. This MVAT7 promoter has 80% identity to a previously characterized promoter for the MVAT4 VSG gene. Nuclear run-on assays demonstrate that the MVAT7 promoter is active in MVAT7 bloodstream organisms and that its transcript is synthesized by an RNA polymerase resistant to alpha-amanitin, consistent with previously published reports regarding VSG gene transcription. The transcription start site was identified by primer extension studies and a modified rapid amplification of cDNA ends protocol. Selective mutational analysis of the MVAT7 promoter showed that two conserved trinucleotide regions are important for full promoter function. This study demonstrates that the MVAT7 VSG gene is co-duplicated with its promoter and transcribed into a monocistronic precursor RNA.

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Accession: 003070286

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9305933

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.272.39.24637



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