Replication of kinetoplast DNA in Trypanosoma equiperdum. Minicircle H strand fragments which map at specific locations

K. A. Ryan, P. T. Englund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial DNA of trypanosomes, kinetoplast DNA, is a network containing thousands of topologically interlocked minicircles. Minicircles are replicated as free molecules after being detached from the network. The minicircle L strand appears to be synthesized continuously and the H strand discontinuously. This paper describes properties of Trypanosoma equiperdum minicircle H strand fragments which could be Okazaki fragments. These fragments constitute a family of molecules of discrete sizes (ranging from about 70 to 1000 nucleotides) which map to specific locations. Three of the most prominent fragments, a 73-mer, 83-mer, and 138-mer, map at contiguous or overlapping sites. Based on their position relative to the initiation site for L strand synthesis, the 73-mer may be the first Okazaki fragment to be synthesized and either the 83-mer or the 138-mer may be the second. The 5' end of the 73-mer lies within a sequence, GGGCGT, found at a similar location in minicircles of all trypanosomatid species. During the maturation of free minicircles and after their reattachment to the networks there appears to be continued extension and ligation of the H strand fragments. However, the ligation of the 73-mer, 83-mer, and 138-mer to the rest of the H strand is delayed; their eventual ligation results in covalent closure of the minicircles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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