Cell cycle localization dynamics of mitochondrial DNA polymerase IC in African trypanosomes

Mol Biol Cell. 2018 Oct 15;29(21):2540-2552. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E18-02-0127. Epub 2018 Aug 22.


Trypanosoma brucei has a unique catenated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) network called kinetoplast DNA (kDNA). Replication of kDNA occurs once per cell cycle in near synchrony with nuclear S phase and requires the coordination of many proteins. Among these are three essential DNA polymerases (TbPOLIB, IC, and ID). Localization dynamics of these proteins with respect to kDNA replication stages and how they coordinate their functions during replication are not well understood. We previously demonstrated that TbPOLID undergoes dynamic localization changes that are coupled to kDNA replication events. Here, we report the localization of TbPOLIC, a second essential DNA polymerase, and demonstrate the accumulation of TbPOLIC foci at active kDNA replication sites (antipodal sites) during stage II of the kDNA duplication cycle. While TbPOLIC was undetectable by immunofluorescence during other cell cycle stages, steady-state protein levels measured by Western blot remained constant. TbPOLIC foci colocalized with the fraction of TbPOLID that localized to the antipodal sites. However, the partial colocalization of the two essential DNA polymerases suggests a highly dynamic environment at the antipodal sites to coordinate the trafficking of replication proteins during kDNA synthesis. These data indicate that cell cycle-dependent localization is a major regulatory mechanism for essential mtDNA polymerases during kDNA replication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle*
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Kinetoplast / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Kinetoplast / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Gene Silencing
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • S Phase
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / cytology*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / enzymology*


  • DNA, Kinetoplast
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase