Reduction of Tubulin Expression in Angomonas deanei by RNAi Modifies the Ultrastructure of the Trypanosomatid Protozoan and Impairs Division of Its Endosymbiotic Bacterium

Carolina Moura Costa Catta-Preta, Bruno Dos Santos Pascoalino, Wanderley de Souza, Jeremy C Mottram, Maria Cristina M Motta, Sergio Schenkman

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In the last two decades, RNA interference pathways have been employed as a useful tool for reverse genetics in trypanosomatids. Angomonas deanei is a non-pathogenic trypanosomatid that maintains an obligatory endosymbiosis with a bacterium related to the Alcaligenaceae family. Studies of this symbiosis can help us to understand the origin of eukaryotic organelles. The recent elucidation of both the A. deanei and the bacterium symbiont genomes revealed that the host protozoan codes for the enzymes necessary for RNAi activity in trypanosomatids. Here we tested the functionality of the RNAi machinery by transfecting cells with dsRNA to a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein), which had been previously expressed in the parasite and to α-tubulin, an endogenous gene. In both cases, protein expression was reduced by the presence of specific dsRNA, inducing, respectively, a decreased GFP fluorescence and the formation of enlarged cells with modified arrangement of subpellicular microtubules. Furthermore, symbiont division was impaired. These results indicate that the RNAi system is active in A. deanei and can be used to further explore gene function in symbiont-containing trypanosoma tids and to clarify important aspects of symbiosis and cell evolution. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-803
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number6
Early online date16 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2016

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© 2016, The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. © 2016, International Society of Protistologists. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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