Cloning by functional complementation in Trypanosoma brucei

Mol Biochem Parasitol. Feb-Mar 1996;76(1-2):83-9. doi: 10.1016/0166-6851(95)02543-x.


A procyclic Trypanosoma brucei double-knockout mutant lacking the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene was transfected with a T. brucei genomic library in the expression vector pTSO-HYG4, which utilizes the PARP promoter and replicates extrachromosomally by virtue of a minicircle origin of replication. Transfectants which grew in the absence of exogenous putrescine, the product of the ODC-catalyzed reaction, were obtained at a frequency of 1.6 x 10(-7) and shown to restore ODC protein synthesis and enzymatic activity. Restriction enzyme patterns and Southern blot analysis of plasmids recovered from these cells and propagated in E. coli showed that the inserts contained a single copy of the T. brucei ODC gene. These results demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of identifying novel T. brucei genes by direct complementation of mutant T. brucei cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Library
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / genetics*
  • Plasmids
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Transfection
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / genetics*


  • Ornithine Decarboxylase