Published Sep 25, 2018


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Elizabeth Ruiz

César Augusto Ramírez

Julián Camilo Casas

María Isabel Ospina

José María Requena

Concepción J. Puerta



In trypanosomatids, gene expression is mainly regulated at posttranscriptional level, through mechanisms based on the interaction between RNA Binding Proteins [RBPs] and motifs present in the untranslated regions [UTRs] of them RNAs, which altogether form ribonucleoproteic complexes [RNP] that define the fate of the mRNA. The pre-mRNA derived from the LYT1 gene of Trypanosoma cruzi, is processed by alternative trans-splicing, resulting in different mRNAs which code for the isoforms mLYT1 and kLYT1, proteins having differential expression, cellular location and function. The aim of this study was to characterize the 5’ and 3’ UTRs of the LYT1 mRNAs as the initial step towards the objective of identification of the RBPs responsible for their differential expression. The presence of the two types of 5’ UTRs were confirmed in two T. cruzi isolates belonging to the DTU I, thus, corroborating the occurrence of alternative trans-splicing also in the LYT1 gene of this T.cruzi DTU. In addition, for the first time, was unscovered the existence of two types of LYT1 mRNAs transcripts, differing in length by 116 nts, that are generated by alternative polyadenylation. Furthermore, an in-silico analysis of the experimentally obtained UTRs, and ten additional LYT1 sequences retrieved from TritrypDB and GenBank databases, together with a thoroughly search of structural motifs, showed a remarkable conservation of relevant structural motifs previously associated with RNA metabolism in the different UTRs; these elements might be involved in the differential stage-specific expression of each LYT1 isoform.


Trypanosoma cruzi, Untranslated region [UTR], RNA binding proteins [RBP], Regulation of gene expression, LYT1 gene

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How to Cite
Ruiz, E., Ramírez, C. A., Casas, J. C., Ospina, M. I., Requena, J. M., & Puerta, C. J. (2018). Characterization of the mRNA untranslated regions [UTR] of the Trypanosoma cruzi LYT1 isoforms derived by alternative trans-splicing. Universitas Scientiarum, 23(2), 267–290.
Biología molecular / Molecular biology / Biologia molecular

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