Molecular mechanisms underlying the control of antigenic variation in African trypanosomes

David Horn, Richard McCulloch

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    91 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    African trypanosomes escape the host adaptive immune response by switching their dense protective coat of Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG). Each cell expresses only one VSG gene at a time from a telomeric expression site (ES). The 'pre-genomic' era saw the identification of the range of pathways involving VSG recombination in the context of mono-telomeric VSG transcription. A prominent feature of the early postgenomic era is the description of the molecular machineries involved in these processes. We describe the factors and sequences recently linked to mutually exclusive transcription and VSG recombination, and how these act in the control of the key virulence mechanism of antigenic variation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)700-705
    Number of pages6
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
    Volume13
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

    Keywords

    • DISTINCT ROLES
    • REPAIR
    • GENE-EXPRESSION
    • HOMOLOGOUS RECOMBINATION
    • DNA
    • TELOMERES
    • POLYMERASE I
    • BREAK-INDUCED REPLICATION
    • YEAST
    • BRUCEI

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