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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Nature, November 2018, Vol.563(7729), pp.121-125
    Description: Many evolutionarily distant pathogenic organisms have evolved similar survival strategies to evade the immune responses of their hosts. These include antigenic variation, through which an infecting organism prevents clearance by periodically altering the identity of proteins that are visible to the immune system of the host. Antigenic variation requires large reservoirs of immunologically diverse antigen genes, which are often generated through homologous recombination, as well as mechanisms to ensure the expression of one or very few antigens at any given time. Both homologous recombination and gene expression are affected by three-dimensional genome architecture and local DNA accessibility. Factors that link three-dimensional genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation have, to our knowledge, not yet been identified in any organism. One of the major obstacles to studying the role of genome architecture in antigenic variation has been the highly repetitive nature and heterozygosity of antigen-gene arrays, which has precluded complete genome assembly in many pathogens. Here we report the de novo haplotype-specific assembly and scaffolding of the long antigen-gene arrays of the model protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, using long-read sequencing technology and conserved features of chromosome folding. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) reveals a distinct partitioning of the genome, with antigen-encoding subtelomeric regions that are folded into distinct, highly compact compartments. In addition, we performed a range of analyses-Hi-C, fluorescence in situ hybridization, assays for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing-that showed that deletion of the histone variants H3.V and H4.V increases antigen-gene clustering, DNA accessibility across sites of antigen expression and switching of the expressed antigen isoform, via homologous recombination. Our analyses identify histone variants as a molecular link between global genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation.
    Keywords: Antigenic Variation -- Genetics ; Chromatin -- Genetics ; DNA, Protozoan -- Metabolism ; Genome -- Genetics ; Trypanosoma Brucei Brucei -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00280836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2014, Vol.9(5), p.e96762
    Description: In Trypanosoma cruzi the isoprenoid and sterol biosynthesis pathways are validated targets for chemotherapeutic intervention. In this work we present a study of the genetic diversity observed in genes from these pathways. Using a number of bioinformatic strategies, we first identified genes that were missing and/or were truncated in the T. cruzi genome. Based on this analysis we obtained the complete sequence of the ortholog of the yeast ERG26 gene and identified a non-orthologous homolog of the yeast ERG25 gene (sterol methyl oxidase, SMO), and we propose that the orthologs of ERG25 have been lost in trypanosomes (but not in Leishmanias). Next, starting from a set of 16 T. cruzi strains representative of all extant evolutionary lineages, we amplified and sequenced ∼ 24 Kbp from 22 genes, identifying a total of 975 SNPs or fixed differences, of which 28% represent non-synonymous changes. We observed genes with a density of substitutions ranging from those close to the average (∼ 2.5/100 bp) to some showing a high number of changes (11.4/100 bp, for the putative lathosterol oxidase gene). All the genes of the pathway are under apparent purifying selection, but genes coding for the sterol C14-demethylase, the HMG-CoA synthase, and the HMG-CoA reductase have the lowest density of missense SNPs in the panel. Other genes (TcPMK, TcSMO-like) have a relatively high density of non-synonymous SNPs (2.5 and 1.9 every 100 bp, respectively). However, none of the non-synonymous changes identified affect a catalytic or ligand binding site residue. A comparative analysis of the corresponding genes from African trypanosomes and Leishmania shows similar levels of apparent selection for each gene. This information will be essential for future drug development studies focused on this pathway.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, May 14, 2014, Vol.9(5)
    Description: In Trypanosoma cruzi the isoprenoid and sterol biosynthesis pathways are validated targets for chemotherapeutic intervention. In this work we present a study of the genetic diversity observed in genes from these pathways. Using a number of bioinformatic strategies, we first identified genes that were missing and/or were truncated in the T. cruzi genome. Based on this analysis we obtained the complete sequence of the ortholog of the yeast ERG26 gene and identified a non-orthologous homolog of the yeast ERG25 gene (sterol methyl oxidase, SMO), and we propose that the orthologs of ERG25 have been lost in trypanosomes (but not in Leishmanias). Next, starting from a set of 16 T. cruzi strains representative of all extant evolutionary lineages, we amplified and sequenced ~24 Kbp from 22 genes, identifying a total of 975 SNPs or fixed differences, of which 28% represent non-synonymous changes. We observed genes with a density of substitutions ranging from those close to the average (~2.5/100 bp) to some showing a high number of changes (11.4/100 bp, for the putative lathosterol oxidase gene). All the genes of the pathway are under apparent purifying selection, but genes coding for the sterol C14-demethylase, the HMG-CoA synthase, and the HMG-CoA reductase have the lowest density of missense SNPs in the panel. Other genes (TcPMK, TcSMO-like) have a relatively high density of non-synonymous SNPs (2.5 and 1.9 every 100 bp, respectively). However, none of the non-synonymous changes identified affect a catalytic or ligand binding site residue. A comparative analysis of the corresponding genes from African trypanosomes and Leishmania shows similar levels of apparent selection for each gene. This information will be essential for future drug development studies focused on this pathway.
    Keywords: Oxidases – Physiological Aspects ; Oxidases – Analysis ; Biosynthesis – Physiological Aspects ; Biosynthesis – Analysis ; Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms – Physiological Aspects ; Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms – Analysis ; Genes – Physiological Aspects ; Genes – Analysis ; Chemotherapy – Physiological Aspects ; Chemotherapy – Analysis ; Steroids (Organic Compounds) – Physiological Aspects ; Steroids (Organic Compounds) – Analysis ; Genomics – Physiological Aspects ; Genomics – Analysis
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Nucleic acids research, 12 October 2018, Vol.46(18), pp.e106
    Description: Despite their importance for most DNA-templated processes, the function of individual histone modifications has remained largely unknown because in vivo mutational analyses are lacking. The reason for this is that histone genes are encoded by multigene families and that tools to simultaneously edit multiple genomic loci with high efficiency are only now becoming available. To overcome these challenges, we have taken advantage of the power of CRISPR-Cas9 for precise genome editing and of the fact that most DNA repair in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei occurs via homologous recombination. By establishing an episome-based CRISPR-Cas9 system for T. brucei, we have edited wild type cells without inserting selectable markers, inserted a GFP tag between an ORF and its 3'UTR, deleted both alleles of a gene in a single transfection, and performed precise editing of genes that exist in multicopy arrays, replacing histone H4K4 with H4R4 in the absence of detectable off-target effects. The newly established genome editing toolbox allows for the generation of precise mutants without needing to change other regions of the genome, opening up opportunities to study the role of individual histone modifications, catalytic sites of enzymes or the regulatory potential of UTRs in their endogenous environments.
    Keywords: Crispr-Cas Systems ; Gene Editing -- Methods ; Histone Code -- Genetics ; Histones -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 03051048
    E-ISSN: 1362-4962
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: 2012, Vol.6(7), p.e1777
    Description: Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas' Disease. The parasite has a complex population structure, with six major evolutionary lineages, some of which have apparently resulted from ancestral hybridization events. Because there are important biological differences between these lineages, strain typing methods are essential to study the T. cruzi species. Currently, there are a number of typing methods available for T. cruzi, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, most of these methods are based on the amplification of a variable number of loci . ; We present a simple typing assay for , based on the amplification of a single polymorphic : the TcSC5D gene. When analyzing sequences from this gene (a putative lathosterol/episterol oxidase) we observed a number of interesting polymorphic sites, including 1 tetra-allelic, and a number of informative tri- and bi-allelic SNPs. Furthermore, some of these SNPs were located within the recognition sequences of two commercially available restriction enzymes. A double digestion with these enzymes generates a unique restriction pattern that allows a simple classification of strains in six major groups, corresponding to DTUs TcI–TcIV, the recently proposed Tcbat lineage, and TcV/TcVI (as a group). Direct sequencing of the amplicon allows the classification of strains into seven groups, including the six currently recognized evolutionary lineages, by analyzing only a few discriminant polymorphic sites. ; Based on these findings we propose a simple typing assay for that requires a single PCR amplification followed either by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, or direct sequencing. In the panel of strains tested, the sequencing-based method displays equivalent inter-lineage resolution to recent multi- sequence typing assays. Due to their simplicity and low cost, the proposed assays represent a good alternative to rapidly screen strain collections, providing the cornerstone for the development of robust typing strategies. ; , the causative agent of Chagas Disease, infects approximately 8 million people in the Americas, with 200,000 new cases reported anually. The disease, in its chronic stage, has different manifestations: mega-colon, mega-esophagus, and cardiomyopathy, among others. The fact that infections by the same species cause these different clinical outcomes is believed to be determined, at least in part, by the genetic background of the parasite (infection by different strains). By analyzing a number of molecular markers, the population of the parasite has been divided into seven major evolutionary lineages, which evolve mostly independently, by clonal expansion with infrequent exchange of genetic material. Accurate classification of different strains and isolates into their corresponding evolutionary lineages is therefore essential to obtain a good map of biological, biochemical and ecoepidemiological features for the whole species. The current methods available to type stocks are either laborious and costly (requiring the amplification and sequencing of a variable number of genes or gene fragments), or limited in resolution. In this work we describe a number of key discriminant sites in a gene encoding a putative enzyme from the sterol pathway of the parasite, which were exploited to design a couple of alternative typing assays. Using these key discriminant sites, we can classify any stock into either six or seven evolutionary lineages using only one gene fragment, and in a matter of hours (depending on the assay used). To our knowledge, the proposed assays are the first typing assays that can discriminate stocks with such speed and low cost.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Genetics And Genomics ; Microbiology
    ISSN: 19352727
    E-ISSN: 1935-2735
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: BMC Genomics, 01 December 2012, Vol.13(1), p.736
    Description: Abstract Background Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas Disease, affects more than 16 million people in Latin America. The clinical outcome of the disease results from a complex interplay between environmental factors and the genetic background of both the human host and the parasite. However, knowledge of the genetic diversity of the parasite, is currently limited to a number of highly studied loci. The availability of a number of genomes from different evolutionary lineages of T. cruzi provides an unprecedented opportunity to look at the genetic diversity of the parasite at a genomic scale. Results Using a bioinformatic strategy, we have clustered T. cruzi sequence data available in the public domain and obtained multiple sequence alignments in which one or two alleles from the reference CL-Brener were included. These data covers 4 major evolutionary lineages (DTUs): TcI, TcII, TcIII, and the hybrid TcVI. Using these set of alignments we have identified 288,957 high quality single nucleotide polymorphisms and 1,480 indels. In a reduced re-sequencing study we were able to validate ~ 97% of high-quality SNPs identified in 47 loci. Analysis of how these changes affect encoded protein products showed a 0.77 ratio of synonymous to non-synonymous changes in the T. cruzi genome. We observed 113 changes that introduce or remove a stop codon, some causing significant functional changes, and a number of tri-allelic and tetra-allelic SNPs that could be exploited in strain typing assays. Based on an analysis of the observed nucleotide diversity we show that the T. cruzi genome contains a core set of genes that are under apparent purifying selection. Interestingly, orthologs of known druggable targets show statistically significant lower nucleotide diversity values. Conclusions This study provides the first look at the genetic diversity of T. cruzi at a genomic scale. The analysis covers an estimated ~ 60% of the genetic diversity present in the population, providing an essential resource for future studies on the development of new drugs and diagnostics, for Chagas Disease. These data is available through the TcSNP database (http://snps.tcruzi.org).
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 1471-2164
    E-ISSN: 1471-2164
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2019, Vol.1971, pp.109-122
    Description: Ribosomes are the machinery responsible for reading mRNAs and translating them into proteins. The ribosome profiling approach is based on high-throughput sequencing of ribosome-protected mRNAs. RNAs not harboring ribosomes are removed by nuclease digestion leaving the so-called ribosome "footprints." The purified "footprint" RNA molecules are processed into DNA libraries and their individual abundance is determined by deep sequencing. Ribosome profiling reveals the portion of transcripts which are actually protein-coding and can be used for differential gene expression analysis addressing rates of protein synthesis, and translational control and efficiency.
    Keywords: Cdss ; Deep Sequencing ; Gene Expression ; Protein Abundance ; Ribosome Positions ; Translation Efficiency ; Translational Control ; Mrna Levels ; Gene Library ; High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing ; RNA, Messenger -- Genetics ; RNA, Protozoan -- Genetics ; Ribosomes -- Genetics ; Trypanosomatina -- Genetics
    E-ISSN: 1940-6029
    Source: MEDLINE/PubMed (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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