Homologous recombination in the tandem calmodulin genes of Trypanosoma brucei yields multiple products: Compensation for deleterious deletions by gene amplification

Josiane E. Eid, Barbara Sollner-Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Homologous recombination between a calmodulin-neomycin-resistance fusion gene and the Trypanosoma brucei chromosome takes place not only in the large 5′- and 3′-flanking segments of the calmodulin locus but also in any of the four tandem genomic calmodulin genes. This results in a recombined locus consisting of the chimeric neor gene and four, three, two, one, or zero functional calmodulin genes. Cells bearing this latter event have half of their normal number of intact calmodulin genes and an accompanying phenotype of slow growth. Over months of propagation, these lines acquire additional calmodulin genes, frequently by amplifying a calmodulin gene at the untargeted locus, and concomitantly revert to normal growth rate. This response could be related to the property of the trypanosome of maintaining most housekeeping genes in tandem chromosomal arrays. Recombination appears to be initiated by a crossover event between the linearized end of the transfecting plasmid and a homologous region in the host genome; the second crossover generally occurs internally and in that region requires no more than 87 bp of homology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2024-2032
Number of pages9
JournalGenes and Development
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1991

Keywords

  • Calmodulin genes
  • Gene amplification
  • Homologous recombination
  • Trypanosoma brucei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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