Transcriptomes of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense from sleeping sickness patients, rodents and culture: Effects of strain, growth conditions and RNA preparation methods

Julius Mulindwa, Kevin Leiss, David Ibberson, Kevin Kamanyi Marucha, Claudia Helbig, Larissa Melo do Nascimento, Eleanor Silvester, Keith Matthews, Enock Matovu, John Enyaru, Christine Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

All of our current knowledge of African trypanosome metabolism is based on results from trypanosomes grown in culture or in rodents. Drugs against sleeping sickness must however treat trypanosomes in humans. We here compare the transcriptomes of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense from the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of human patients with those of trypanosomes from culture and rodents. The data were aligned and analysed using new user-friendly applications designed for Kinetoplastid RNA-Seq data. The transcriptomes of trypanosomes from human blood and cerebrospinal fluid did not predict major metabolic differences that might affect drug susceptibility. Usefully, there were relatively few differences between the transcriptomes of trypanosomes from patients and those of similar trypanosomes grown in rats. Transcriptomes of monomorphic laboratory-adapted parasites grown in in vitro culture closely resembled those of the human parasites, but some differences were seen. In poly(A)-selected mRNA transcriptomes, mRNAs encoding some protein kinases and RNA-binding proteins were under-represented relative to mRNA that had not been poly(A) selected; further investigation revealed that the selection tends to result in loss of longer mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0006280
Number of pages25
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Trypanosoma
  • Messenger RNA
  • Blood
  • Parasitic diseases
  • Transcriptome analysis
  • RNA sequencing
  • Trypanosoma brucei
  • Cytoskeletal proteins

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