The sequence and analysis of Trypanosoma brucei chromosome II

Najib M A El-Sayed, Elodie Ghedin, Jinming Song, Annette MacLeod, Frederic Bringaud, Christopher Larkin, David Wanless, Jeremy Peterson, Lihua Hou, Sonya Taylor, Alison Tweedie, Nicolas Biteau, Hanif G. Khalak, Xiaoying Lin, Tanya Mason, Linda Hannick, Elisabet Caler, Gaëlle Blandin, Daniella Bartholomeu, Anjana J. SimpsonSamir Kaul, Hong Zhao, Grace Pai, Susan Van Aken, Teresa Utterback, Brian Haas, Hean L. Koo, Lowell Umayam, Bernard Suh, Caroline Gerrard, Vanessa Leech, Rong Qi, Shiguo Zhou, David Schwartz, Tamara Feldblyum, Steven Salzberg, Andrew Tait, C. Michael R Turner, Elisabetta Ullu, Owen White, Sara Melville, Mark D. Adams, Claire M. Fraser, John E. Donelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report here the sequence of chromosome II from Trypenosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. The 1.2-Mb pairs encode about 470 predicted genes organised in 17 directional clusters on either strand, the largest cluster of which has 92 genes lined up over a 284-kb region. An analysis of the GC skew reveals strand compositional asymmetries that coincide with the distribution of protein-coding genes, suggesting these asymmetries may be the result of transcription-coupled repair on coding versus non-coding strand. A 5-cM genetic map of the chromosome reveals recombinational 'hot' and 'cold' regions, the latter of which is predicted to include the putative centromere. One end of the chromosome consists of a 250-kb region almost exclusively composed of RHS (pseudo)genes that belong to a newly characterised multigene family containing a hot spot of insertion for retroelements. Interspersed with the RHS genes are a few copies of truncated RNA polymerase pseudogenes as well as expression site associated (pseudo)genes (ESAGs) 3 and 4, and 76 bp repeats. These features are reminiscent of a vestigial variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) gene expression site. The other end of the chromosome contains a 30-kb array of VSG genes, the majority of which are pseudogenes, suggesting that this region may be a site for modular de novo construction of VSG gene diversity during transposition/gene conversion events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4856-4863
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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