Structure of mRNA encoded by tubulin genes in Leishmania enriettii

Scott M. Landfear, Dyann F. Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Both the α- and β-tubulin genes of Leishmania enriettii are encoded by mRNA of 2.0-2.2 kb in length. We have shown previously that the α- and β-tubulin genes are arranged in separate, tandem repeats of 2 and 4 kb, respectively, and now report the mapping of mature mRNA onto these cloned genes. Here we show that the α-tubulin gene contains a very short intergenic region (100-200 bases) whereas the larger, tandemly repeated β-tubulin gene contains a 1.8-2.0 kb region not found in mature mRNA. Comparison of S-1 mapping and primer extension results indicates that the messenger RNAs for both α- and β-tubulin contain a sequence of about 35 base pairs located at the 5′ end that is not encoded contiguously with the rest of the mRNA. This short 5′ sequence may be added to the body of the tubulin mRNAs either through splicing of a precursor RNA molecule or by a novel post-transcriptional processing reaction. The α- and β-tubulin genes are arranged identically in the two developmental stages of the parasite life cycle and are present in equal copy number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-82
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Leishmania
  • Tubulin genes
  • mRNA processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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