E-GEOD-51737 - Kinetoplastid-specific histone variant functions are conserved in Leishmania major

Released on 26 October 2013, last updated on 25 November 2013
Leishmania major
Samples (4)
Protocols (3)
Protein-coding genes in kinetoplastid protists are transcribed from polycistronic arrays, yielding RNA precursors which are processed to form mature transcripts bearing a 5’ spliced leader (SL) and 3’ poly(A) tract. Regions of transcription initiation and termination lack known eukaryotic promoter and terminator elements, and current data suggest that transcription is instead regulated predominantly through epigenetic mechanisms. Several epigenetic marks, including histone modifications, histone variants, and an atypical DNA modification known as base J have been localized to regions of transcription initiation or termination in Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and/or Leishmania major. Despite this conservation, the phenotypes of base J mutants vary significantly across trypanosomatids, suggesting that the specific epigenetic networks governing transcription initiation and termination have diverged significantly during evolution. In this light, we sought to characterize and compare the roles of the histone variants H2A.Z, H2B.V, and H3.V in L. major. As in T. brucei, the histone variants H2A.Z and H2B.V were shown to be essential in L. major using a powerful quantitative plasmid segregation-based test. In contrast and again similar to T. brucei, H3.V is not essential in Leishmania as H3.V-null lines grew normally, resembled WT, and remained infectious. Using SL-primed RNA-seq, we found that H3.V-null parasites have steady-state transcript levels comparable to WT parasites and display no defects in the efficiency of transcription termination at convergent strand switch regions (SSRs). Our results show a conservation of histone variant phenotypes between L. major and T. brucei, in contrast to the phenotypes associated with the epigenetic DNA base J modification. Total RNA from Four LmjF samples were analyzed using RNA-Seq. One of them is wildtype parasites, one is single knockout for H3V gene and two independent double knockouts for H3V gene.
Experiment type
RNA-seq of coding RNA 
Britta A Anderson, Gowthaman Ramasamy, Iris L Wong, Loren Baugh, Peter J Myler, Stephen M Beverley
Exp. designProtocolsVariablesProcessedSeq. reads
Investigation descriptionE-GEOD-51737.idf.txt
Sample and data relationshipE-GEOD-51737.sdrf.txt
Processed data (1)E-GEOD-51737.processed.1.zip