JCVI: Cloning and Expression of Transgenes Using Linear Vectors in Trypanosoma Cruzi.
Section Banner



Curto Mde L, Lorenzi HA, Moraes Barros RR, Souza RT, Levin MJ, Da Silveira JF, Schijman AG

Cloning and Expression of Transgenes Using Linear Vectors in Trypanosoma Cruzi.

International Journal for Parasitology. 2014 Jun 01; 44: 447-56.

External Citation


The identification of new targets for vaccine and drug development for the treatment of Chagas' disease is dependent on deepening our understanding of the parasite genome. Vectors for genetic manipulation in Trypanosoma cruzi basically include those that remain as circular episomes and those that integrate into the parasite's genome. Artificial chromosomes are alternative vectors to overcome problematic transgene expression often occurring with conventional vectors in this parasite. We have constructed a series of vectors named pTACs (Trypanosome Artificial Chromosomes), all of them carrying telomeric and subtelomeric sequences and genes conferring resistance to different selection drugs. In addition, one pTAC harbours a modified GFP gene (pTAC-gfp), and another one carries the ornithine decarboxilase gene from Crithidia fasciculata (pTAC-odc). We have encountered artificial chromosomes generated from pTACs in transformed T. cruzi epimastigotes for every version of the designed vectors. These extragenomic elements, in approximately 6-8 copies per cell, remained as linear episomes, contained telomeres and persisted after 150 and 60 generations with or without selection drugs, respectively. The linear molecules remained stable through the different T. cruzi developmental forms. Furthermore, derived artificial chromosomes from pTAC-odc could complement the auxotrophy of T. cruzi for polyamines. Our results show that pTACs constitute useful tools for reverse functional genetics in T. cruzi that will contribute to a better understanding of T. cruzi biology.