Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei possesses a large and unique intraflagellar structure called the paraflagellar rod (PFR). The PFR is composed of 2 major proteins, PFRA and PFRC. We have generated an inducible mutant trypanosome cell line (snl-2) that expresses linked inverted copies of a PFRA gene, capable of forming a PFRA double-stranded (ds) RNA. When expression of this dsRNA was induced, new PFRA RNA and PFRA protein quickly disappeared and PFR construction was affected, resulting in cell paralysis. This inducible RNA interference (RNAi) effect was fast-acting, heritable and reversible. It allowed us to demonstrate that PFR proteins are able to enter both mature and growing flagella but appear to concentrate differentially in new flagella because of the construction process. The PFR is constructed by a polar assembly process at the distal end of the flagellum resulting in a stable cytoskeletal structure with low turn-over. The inducible RNAi approach will have widespread applicability in studies of gene function and cellular processes in parasites.


Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date



113 ( Pt 18)


3321 - 3328


Animals, Flagella, Multigene Family, Mutagenesis, Insertional, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Protozoan Proteins, RNA, Antisense, RNA, Protozoan, RNA, Small Interfering, Time Factors, Trypanosoma brucei brucei