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Title: TbISWI and its role in transcriptional control in Trypanosoma brucei
Author: Kushwaha, Manish
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 8916
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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ISWI is a member of a versatile family of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling complexes involved not only in transcription regulation (initiation, elongation and termination), but also in other cellular functions like maintenance of higher order chromatin structure and DNA replication. TbISWI, a novel ATPase of the ISWI family in Trypanosoma brucei, is involved in the transcriptional repression of silent VSG expression sites (ESs) in both bloodstream form (BF) and procyclic form (PF) life cycle stages of the parasite. Using in silico analysis, I have found that TbISWI is well conserved across the eukaryotic lineage, including those members of the order Kinetoplastida that do not exhibit antigenic variation. Compared to the ISWIs of higher eukaryotes, TbISWI has greater representation of random coils within its structure, an indicator of more structural fluidity and flexibility of interaction with multiple protein partners. Using an eGFP reporter based assay, I have studied the role of TbISWI in transcriptional repression of silent areas of the T. brucei genome. TbISWI was found to be involved in preventing inappropriate transcription of the silent VSG repertoires. TbISWI was also found to downregulate transcription in RNA pol I, but not pol II, transcription units. These results argue for the presence of at least two functionally distinct TbISWI complexes in T. brucei. Using DNA staining and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), I have investigated the potential effect of TbISWI depletion on cell cycle progression and minichromosome segregation. I did not find any evidence for the role of TbISWI in the maintenance of centromeric heterochromatin in T. brucei.
Supervisor: Rudenko, Gloria Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biochemistry ; Parasitology ; chromatin remodelling ; VSG expression sites ; African trypanosome ; trypanosomiasis ; transcriptional regulation