Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The structure, genomic organization and transcription of the gene encoding histone H2B in the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi have been studied. This gene consists of a 746-nucleotlde unit, tandemly repeated at least 18 times in each of two clusters. DNA probes corresponding to histones H2B and H3 hybridized to different chromosomes revealing that the genes coding for these two histones are not physically linked in the genome of T. cruzi. The primary transcription product of the H2B gene is processed by trans-splicing and polyadenylation. Inhibition of DNA synthesis with aphidicolin resulted in the reduction of histone H2B mRNA to undetectable levels in about two hours, suggesting that its abundance is regulated throughout the cell cycle as it occurs in other eukaryotes. in addition, a concomitant inhibition of translation by cycloheximide reverted this effect indicating that de novo protein synthesis is required for RNA instability. Histone mRNA abundance was dependent on the life-cycle stage of T. cruzi: abundant in amastigotes and epimastigotes, the dividing forms in the host cell and the insect vector, respectively, white undetected in trypomastigotes, the parasite's non-dividing life stage.
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