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Trypanosoma cruzi Genome: Organization, Dynamics, Function and Promise (pp. 19-38) $100.00
Authors:  (C. Lugo-Caballero, D. Sánchez-Cruz, L.A. Hernández-Osorio, G. Noris-Saravia, M. Rubio-Ortíz, C. Marquez-Dueñas, S. Martínez-Calvillo and R. Manning-Cela, Departamento de Biomedicina Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, D.F., Mexico, and others)
The complete genome sequence of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of
American trypanosomiasis, was published seven years ago. The selected strain, CL
Brener, is a natural hybrid of the T. cruzi II and T. cruzi III lineages. The sequence
analysis revealed that this parasite contains a diploid genome of between 106.4 and 110.7
Mb that is organized into 41 chromosome pairs and 22,570 predicted protein-coding
genes, of which 12,570 represent allelic pairs. Similar to other trypanosomatids, T. cruzi
is characterized by its unique mechanisms of gene expression, such as constitutive
polycistronic transcription and trans-splicing. The parasite genome is organized into
large polycistronic clusters of unrelated genes that are arranged sequentially on the same
DNA strand, which emphasizes the importance of posttranscriptional regulation. T. cruzi
contains a large number of repetitive sequences (≥ 50% of the genome) and includes
large gene families of surface proteins (e.g., TS, mucins, gp63s and MASP),
retrotransposons and subtelomeric repeats. Few promoter sequences have been identified,
and general transcription factors are almost unrepresented. Therefore, little is known
concerning transcription initiation and regulation. The parasite lacks classical RNA
polymerase II promoter sequences. However, it has been shown that transcription
initiation and termination regions are epigenetically marked by histone variants or
modified histones, similarly to other eukaryotes. The chromatin exhibits differential
condensation through the parasite life-cycle stages, and despite the presence of
nucleosomes, chromatin never folds into 30-nm fibers. In this chapter, we intend to detail
the general knowledge of the T. cruzi genome and discuss the most recent discoveries
regarding the regulation of its genome expression and the impact that these findings have
on parasite biology and disease pathogenesis. 

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<i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i> Genome: Organization, Dynamics, Function and Promise (pp. 19-38)