Telomere maintenance and length regulation in Trypanosoma brucei

David Horn (Lead / Corresponding author), Cheryl Spence, Alexandra K. Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Transcription of telomere proximal variant surface glycoprotein genes is mono-allelic in bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei. The terminal DNA sequence at these telomeres consists of tandem T2AG3 repeats, which increase in length by ˜ 8 bp per cell division balanced by occasional loss of large numbers of repeats. Here we have used targeted chromosome fragmentation to investigate the sequence requirements for telomere formation in T.brucei. Telomere formation is most efficient on tandem T2AG3 repeats, but can also occur on specific templates found within 'random' sequence substrates and on G-rich motifs proximal to a double-strand break. Newly formed telomeres are extended faster than other native telomeres, but as the telomere becomes longer the rate of extension declines. Telomere length regulation in T.brucei is discussed in the context of recent results from other cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2332-2339
Number of pages8
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2000


  • Telomerase
  • Telomere
  • Trypanosoma brucei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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