Molecular Parasitology

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Can RNA-processing hotspots serve as post-transcriptional enhancers?

Our new manuscript is now on bioRxiv


 RNA maturation locus Tweet


Together with the David Horn lab (University of Dundee), we observed that in trypanosomes the single expressed antigen coding gene displays a specific inter-chromosomal interaction with a major mRNA splicing locus. Chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) revealed a dynamic reconfiguration of this inter-chromosomal interaction upon activation of another antigen. Using super-resolution microscopy we were able to show the interaction to be heritable and splicing dependent.

Our results reveal a novel mechanism to ensure monogenic expression, requiring the spatial integration of antigen transcription and mRNA splicing in a dedicated compartment. These findings suggest a new means of post-transcriptional gene regulation.

Faria J#, Luzak V#, Mueller LSM#, Brink BG, Hutchinson S, Glover L, Horn D*, and Siegel TN* (2020)
Antigenic variation by switching inter-chromosomal interactions with an RNA splicing locus in trypanosomes.
bioRxiv 2020.01.27.921452

# equal contribution
* corresponding authors
members of the Siegel lab are listed in bold