SLACS Retrotransposon From Trypanosoma Brucei Gambiense Is Similar to Mammalian LINEs

Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Feb 25;18(4):785-92. doi: 10.1093/nar/18.4.785.


We have characterized a retrotransposon in Trypanosoma brucei gambiense uniquely associated with the spliced-leader (SL) RNA gene cluster (Spliced Leader Associated Conserved Sequence, SLACS). There are nine copies of SLACS and DNA sequence analysis of one shows the hallmarks of Line-1 like elements. SLACS has generated a 49 bp target DNA duplication at its insertion site and its 3'-end is preceded by a poly(A) stretch. Two putative open reading frames (ORFs) span 75% of the element. ORF1 has CysHis motif associated with the retroviral gag polypeptide while ORF2 shows homology with reverse transcriptase sequences. Its 5'-end contains a repeated segment of a 185 bp that varies in copy number in different SLACS insertions. Retrotransposon-like sequences inserted into the SL-RNA genes occur in several hemoflagellates. These elements may represent a related family which has maintained its target site specificity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • DNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • DNA, Ribosomal / isolation & purification
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Multigene Family*
  • RNA Splicing*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense / genetics*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X17078