Trypanosoma brucei subtelomeres: Monoallelic expression and antigenic variation

Luisa M. Figueiredo (Lead / Corresponding author), David Horn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Large families of Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) contingency genes are found at African trypanosome subtelomeres. These parasites offer an important evolutionary perspective on subtelomeres since they diverged very early from the eukaryotic lineage. The VSGs are also key virulence determinants. Trypanosoma brucei subtelomeres display a remarkable transcription pattern that allows VSGs to enable an extremely effective form of antigenic variation and host immune evasion. This involves monotelomeric, polycistronic transcription, driven by extranucleolar RNA polymerase I. Here, we discuss this novel epigenetic system in terms of regulatory factors and mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSubtelomeres
EditorsE. Louis, M. Becker
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783642415661
ISBN (Print)9783642415654
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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