Bringaud, F., Garcia-Perez, J. L., Heras, S. R., Ghedin, E., El-Sayed, N. M., Andersson, B., Baltz, T., Lopez, M. C.
Identification of Non-autonomous Non-LTR Retrotransposons In the Genome of Trypanosoma cruzi
Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2002 Sep 01; 124(1): 73-8.
As observed for most eukaryotic cells, trypanosomatids contains non-LTR retrotransposons randomly inserted in the nuclear genome. Autonomous retroelements which, code for their own transposition, have been characterized in Trypanosoma brucei (ingi) and Trypanosoma cruzi (L1Tc), whereas non-autonomous retroelements have only been characterized in T. brucei (RIME). Here, we have characterized in the genome of Trypanosoma cruzi four complete copies of a non-autonomous non-LTR retrotransposon, called NARTc. This 0.26 kb NARTc element has the characteristics of non-LTR retrotransposons: the presence a poly(dA) tail and of a short flanking duplicated motif. Analysis of the Genome Survey Sequence databases indicated that the Trypanosoma cruzi haploid genome contains about 140 NARTc copies and about twice as many L1Tc copies. Interestingly, the NARTc and L1Tc retroelements share, with the Trypanosoma brucei ingi and RIME retrotransposons, a common sequence (the first 45 bp with 91% identity), whereas the remaining sequences are very divergent. This suggests that these four trypanosome non-LTR retrotransposons were derived from the same common ancester and the sequence of their 5'-extremity may have a functional role. In addition, the genome of Leishmania major contains the same conserved motif present in the trypanosome retroelements, whicle no transposable elements have been detected so far in Leishmania sp.