Elucidating the role of C/D snoRNA in rRNA processing and modification in Trypanosoma brucei

Sarit Barth, Boaz Shalem, Avraham Hury, Itai Dov Tkacz, Xue Hai Liang, Shai Uliel, Inna Myslyuk, Tirza Doniger, Mali Salmon-Divon, Ron Unger, Shulamit Michaeli

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Most eukaryotic C/D small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) guide 2′-O methylation (Nm) on rRNA and are also involved in rRNA processing. The four core proteins that bind C/D snoRNA in Trypanosoma brucei are fibrillarin (NOP1), NOP56, NOP58, and SNU13. Silencing of NOP1 by RNA interference identified rRNA-processing and modification defects that caused lethality. Systematic mapping of 2′-O-methyls on rRNA revealed the existence of hypermethylation at certain positions of the rRNA in the bloodstream form of the parasites, suggesting that this modification may assist the parasites in coping with the major temperature changes during cycling between their insect and mammalian hosts. The rRNA-processing defects of NOP1-depleted cells suggest the involvement of C/D snoRNA in trypanosome-specific rRNA-processing events to generate the small rRNA fragments. MRP RNA, which is involved in rRNA processing, was identified in this study in one of the snoRNA gene clusters, suggesting that trypanosomes utilize a combination of unique C/D snoRNAs and conserved snoRNAs for rRNA processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-101
Number of pages16
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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