Glycolysis modulates trypanosome glycoprotein expression as revealed by an RNAi library

James C. Morris, Zefeng Wang, Mark E. Drew, Paul T. Englund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for identifying gene function in Trypanosoma brucei. We generated an RNAi library, the first of its kind in any organism, by ligation of genomic fragments into the vector pZJMβ. After transfection at ∼5-fold genome coverage, trypanosomes were induced to express double-stranded RNA and screened for reduced concanavalin A (conA) binding. Since this lectin binds the surface glycoprotein EP-procyclin, we predicted that cells would lose affinity to conA if RNAi silenced genes affecting EP-procyclin expression or modification. We found a cell line in which RNAi switches expression from glycosylated EP-procyclins to the unglycosylated GPEET-procyclin. This switch results from silencing a hexokinase gene. The relationship between procyclin expression and glycolysis was supported by silencing other genes in the glycolytic pathway, and confirmed by observation of a similar upregulation of GPEET-procyclin when parental cells were grown in medium depleted of glucose. These data suggest that T.brucei 'senses' changes in glucose level and modulates procyclin expression accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4429-4438
Number of pages10
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Concanavalin A
  • Hexokinase
  • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry
  • RNA interference library

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Glycolysis modulates trypanosome glycoprotein expression as revealed by an RNAi library'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this