Trypanosoma brucei: cis-aconitate and temperature reduction as triggers of synchronous transformation of bloodstream to procyclic trypomastigotes in vitro

Exp Parasitol. 1986 Oct;62(2):283-91. doi: 10.1016/0014-4894(86)90033-0.


Synchronous transformation of the monomorphic Trypanosoma brucei 427 variant clone MITat 1.4 (117) from bloodstream to procyclic trypomastigotes was studied in modified minimum essential medium plus 15% inactivated horse serum. Repression of variant surface glycoprotein synthesis, subsequent morphological transformation, and growth of procyclic cells was triggered by the simultaneous action of two signals: a reduction in temperature from 37 to 27 C and the addition of cis-aconitate. Repression of variant surface glycoprotein synthesis initiated by these two signals is reversible during the first hours, but becomes irreversible after about 1 day. Thereafter, cells are committed to differentiation at 27 C.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aconitic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Citrates / pharmacology
  • Citric Acid
  • Culture Media
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Temperature
  • Tricarboxylic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / cytology*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / drug effects
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / growth & development
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / metabolism
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma


  • Citrates
  • Culture Media
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Tricarboxylic Acids
  • Variant Surface Glycoproteins, Trypanosoma
  • Citric Acid
  • Aconitic Acid