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tRNA Biology in Trypanosomes

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Besides their medical importance, the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and its relatives are experimentally highly accessible model systems for many cell biological processes. Trypanosomes are phylogenetically essentially unrelated to the popular model eukaryotes, such as yeast and animals, and thus show several unique features, many of which are connected to RNA. Here we review the tRNA biology of trypanosomes. Even though tRNAs were already discovered 60 years ago, owing to current technological advances in the field, research on tRNA biology has seen a Renaissance in recent years. First we discuss the extensive mitochondrial tRNA import process and the consequences it has for the parasite. Next we focus on trypanosomal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, some of which may be exploited as drug targets. Furthermore, we summarize what is known about trypanosomal tRNA modifications in both the cytosol and the mitochondrion. Finally, we provide an overview on the emerging field of tRNA-derived fragments and their possible function as translation regulators.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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