Inactivation of transcription by UV irradiation of T. brucei provides evidence for a multicistronic transcription unit including a VSG gene

Cell. 1987 Oct 23;51(2):273-81. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90154-1.


We have used inactivation of transcription by UV irradiation to map transcription units in trypanosomes. The relative inactivation rate of the transcription of mini-exon, 5S, and rRNA genes was inversely proportional to the previously estimated lengths of these transcription units. The telomeric transcription unit containing the gene for variant-specific surface glycoprotein (VSG) 221 was inactivated as a single unit of 60 kb. This long transcription unit comprises at least one other protein-coding gene and yields seven other stable mRNAs. These data thus provide evidence for a multicistronic transcription unit for cellular genes in a eukaryote.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genes*
  • Transcription, Genetic / radiation effects*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma / genetics*


  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma