Multiple mitochondrial DNA polymerases in Trypanosoma brucei

Michele M. Klingbeil, Shawn A. Motyka, Paul T. Englund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Kinetoplast DNA (kDNA), the unusual mitochondrial DNA of Trypanosoma brucei, is a network containing thousands of catenated circles. Database searching for a kDNA replicative polymerase (pol) revealed no mitochondrial pol γ homolog. Instead, we identified four proteins (TbPOLIA, IB, IC, and ID) related to bacterial pol I. Remarkably, all four localized to the mitochondrion. TbPOLIB and TbPOLIC localized beside the kDNA where replication occurs, and their knockdown by RNA interference caused kDNA network shrinkage. Furthermore, silencing of TbPOLIC caused loss of both minicircles and maxicircles and accumulation of minicircle replication intermediates, consistent with a role in replication. While typical mitochondria contain one DNA polymerase, pol γ, trypanosome mitochondria contain five such enzymes, including the previously characterized pol β.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple mitochondrial DNA polymerases in Trypanosoma brucei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this