Skip to main content Accessibility help

Differential polyadenylation of ribosomal RNA during post-transcriptional processing in Leishmania

  • S. DECUYPERE (a1) (a2), J. VANDESOMPELE (a3), V. YARDLEY (a4), S. DE DONCKER (a1), T. LAURENT (a1), S. RIJAL (a5), A. LLANOS-CUENTAS (a6), F. CHAPPUIS (a7), J. AREVALO (a6) and J.-C. DUJARDIN (a1)...


The protozoan parasite Leishmania belongs to the most ancient eukaryotic lineages and this is reflected in several distinctive biological features, such as eukaryotic polycistronic transcription and RNA trans-splicing. The disclosure of this organism's unusual characteristics leads to a better understanding of the origin and nature of fundamental biological processes in eukaryotes. Here we report another unusual phenomenon as we demonstrate that precursor ribosomal RNA can be extensively polyadenylated during post-transcriptional processing[dagger]. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the degree of precursor rRNA polyadenylation is variable in different strains and in the different life-stages of a strain.


Corresponding author

‘Prins Leopold’ Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde, Unit of Molecular Parasitology, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium. Tel: +32 3 2476358. Fax: +32 3 2476359. E-mail:


Hide All


Burchmore, R. J. and Barrett, M. P. ( 2001). Life in vacuoles--nutrient acquisition by Leishmania amastigotes. International journal for Parasitology 31, 13111320.
Carpousis, A. J., Vanzo, N. F. and Raynal, L. C. ( 1999). mRNA degradation. A tale of poly(A) and multiprotein machines. Trends in Genetics 15, 2428.
Colgan, D. F. and Manley, J. L. ( 1997). Mechanism and regulation of mRNA polyadenylation. Genes and Development 11, 27552766.
Deutscher, M. P. ( 2003). Degradation of stable RNA in bacteria. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 278, 4504145044.
Diatchenko, L., Lau, Y. F., Campbell, A. P., Chenchik, A., Moqadam, F., Huang, B., Lukyanov, S., Lukyanov, K., Gurskaya, N., Sverdlov, E. D. and Siebert, P. D. ( 1996). Suppression subtractive hybridization: a method for generating differentially regulated or tissue-specific cDNA probes and libraries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 93, 60256030.
Fleischmann, J. and Liu, H. ( 2001). Polyadenylation of ribosomal RNA by Candida albicans. Gene 265, 7176.
Fleischmann, J., Liu, H. and Wu, C. P. ( 2004). Polyadenylation of ribosomal RNA by Candida albicans also involves the small subunit. BMC. Molecular Biology 5, 1722.
Fromont-Racine, M., Senger, B., Saveanu, C. and Fasiolo, F. ( 2003). Ribosome assembly in eukaryotes. Gene 313, 1742.
Hernandez, R., Diaz-De Leon, F. and Castaneda, M. ( 1988). Molecular cloning and partial characterization of ribosomal RNA genes from Trypanosoma cruzi. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 27, 275279.
Hernandez-Rivas, R., Martinez-Calvillo, S., Romero, M. and Hernandez, R. ( 1992). Trypanosoma cruzi 5S rRNA genes: molecular cloning, structure and chromosomal organization. FEMS Microbiology Letters 71, 6367.
Hirose, Y. and Manley, J. L. ( 1998). RNA polymerase II is an essential mRNA polyadenylation factor. Nature, London 395, 9396.
Jensen, B. C., Brekken, D. L., Randall, A. C., Kifer, C. T. and Parsons, M. ( 2005). Species specificity in ribosome biogenesis: a nonconserved phosphoprotein is required for formation of the large ribosomal subunit in Trypanosoma brucei. Eukaryotic Cell 4, 3035.
Kadaba, S., Krueger, A., Trice, T., Krecic, A. M., Hinnebusch, A. G. and Anderson, J. ( 2004). Nuclear surveillance and degradation of hypomodified initiator tRNAMet in S. cerevisiae. Genes and Development 18, 12271240.
Kuai, L., Fang, F., Butler, J. S. and Sherman, F. ( 2004). Polyadenylation of rRNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 101, 85818586.
Lebowitz, J. H., Smith, H. Q., Rusche, L. and Beverley, S. M. ( 1993). Coupling of poly(A) site selection and trans-splicing in Leishmania. Genes and Development 7, 9961007.
Li, Z., Pandit, S. and Deutscher, M. P. ( 1998). Polyadenylation of stable RNA precursors in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 95, 1215812162.
Martinez-Calvillo, S., Sunkin, S. M., Yan, S., Fox, M., Stuart, K. and Myler, P. J. ( 2001). Genomic organization and functional characterization of the Leishmania major Friedlin ribosomal RNA gene locus. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 116, 147157.
Mazareb, S., Fu, Z. Y. and Zilberstein, D. ( 1999). Developmental regulation of proline transport in Leishmania donovani. Experimental Parasitology 91, 341348.
McConville, M. J. and Ralton, J. E. ( 1997). Developmentally regulated changes in the cell surface architecture of Leishmania parasites. Behring Institute Mitteilungen 99, 3443.
Motulsky, H. ( 1995). Intuitive Biostatistics, Oxford University Press, New York.
Paule, M. R. and White, R. J. ( 2000). Survey and summary: transcription by RNA polymerases I and III. Nucleic Acids Research 28, 12831298.
Proudfoot, N. and O'Sullivan, J. ( 2002). Polyadenylation: a tail of two complexes. Current Biology 12, R855R857.
Reeder, R. H. ( 1990). rRNA synthesis in the nucleolus. Trends in Genetics 6, 390395.
Salles, F. J., Richards, W. G. and Strickland, S. ( 1999). Assaying the polyadenylation state of mRNAs. Methods 17, 3845.
Sogin, M. L., Gunderson, J. H., Elwood, H. J., Alonso, R. A. and Peattie, D. A. ( 1989). Phylogenetic meaning of the kingdom concept: an unusual ribosomal RNA from Giardia lamblia. Science 243, 7577.
Sollner-Webb, B. and Mougey, E. B. ( 1991). News from the nucleolus: rRNA gene expression. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 16, 5862.
Spencer, D. F., Collings, J. C., Schnare, M. N. and Gray, M. W. ( 1987). Multiple Spacer sequences in the nuclear large subunit ribosomal RNA gene of Crithidia fasciculata. The EMBOJ Journal 6, 10631071.
Tintaya, K. W., Ying, X., Dedet, J. P., Rijal, S., De-Bolle, X. and Dujardin, J. C. ( 2004). Antigen genes for molecular epidemiology of leishmaniasis: polymorphism of cysteine proteinase B and surface metalloprotease glycoprotein 63 in the Leishmania donovani complex. Journal of Infectious Diseases 189, 10351043.
Tobie, E. J., Von Brand, T. and Mehlman, B. ( 1950). Cultural and physiological observations on Trypanosoma rhodesiense and Trypanosoma gambiense. The Journal of Parasitology 36, 4854.
Victoir, K., De Doncker, S., Cabrera, L., Alvarez, E., Arevalo, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A., Le Ray, D. and Dujardin, J. C. ( 2003). Direct identification of Leishmania species in biopsies from patients with American tegumentary leishmaniasis. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 97, 8087.
White, T. C. and Borst, P. ( 1987). RNA end-labeling and RNA ligase activities can produce a circular rRNA in whole cell extracts from trypanosomes. Nucleic Acids Research 15, 32753290.
White, T. C., Rudenko, G. and Borst, P. ( 1986). Three small RNAs within the 10 kb trypanosome rRNA transcription unit are analogous to domain VII of other eukaryotic 28S rRNAs. Nucleic Acids Research 14, 94719489.
Zhao, J., Hyman, L. and Moore, C. ( 1999). Formation of mRNA 3′ ends in eukaryotes: mechanism, regulation, and interrelationships with other steps in mRNA synthesis. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 63, 405445.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed