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Mark Carrington

Molecular cell biology of trypanosomes

Trypanosomes belong to the kinetoplastid group of protozoa that contains many pathogenic as well as free-living species. Kinetoplastids diverged early during the radiation of eukaryotes and have evolved separately for over one billion years and during this time they have accumulated many unique and inherently interesting aspects to their biology. The lab uses African Trypanosomes as a model organism for kinetoplastid protozoa with the aim of determining the molecular mechanisms that underlie some of the unique aspects of the biology of trypanosomes. Current projects in the lab fall into three groups aimed at answering these three questions:

How does the trypanosome cell surface facilitate growth and survival in the mammalian host?

How are mRNA levels altered in response to environmental queues?

How does the trypanosome change shape during developmental transitions?

For more details visit the group web site

Lab members: Mark Carrington, Jenny Reed, Theresa Manful, Angela Schwede, Luis de Pablos Torro, Bridget Chukualim, Olivia Macleod, Janaina de Freitas Nascimento, Bella Maudlin, Christina Lorenz, Beth Richardson

Key recent publications:

Kramer S, Queiroz R, Ellis L, Hoheisel JD, Clayton C, Carrington M (2010) J. Cell Sci. 123, 699-711  The RNA helicase DHH1 is central to the correct expression of many developmentally regulated mRNAs in trypanosomes.

Peacock L. Ferris V. Sharma R. Sunter J. Bailey M. Carrington M. Gibson W. (2011) Proc Natl Acad Sci 108, 3671-3676 Identification of the meiotic life cycle stage of Trypanosoma brucei in the tsetse fly.

Kramer S, Marnef A, Standart N, Carrington M. (2012). J Cell Sci. 125:2896-909. Inhibition of mRNA maturation in trypanosomes causes the formation of novel foci at the nuclear periphery containing cytoplasmic regulators of mRNA fate.

Kelly S, Schwede A, Maini P K, Gull K, Carrington M. (2012) Open Biol 2: 120033. Genome organization is a major component of gene expression control in response to stress and during the cell-division cycle in trypanosomes.

Higgins M, Tkachenko O, Brown A, Reed J, Raper J, Carrington M. (2013) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 110:1905-1910. Structure of the trypanosome haptoglobin–hemoglobin receptor and implications for nutrient uptake and innate immunity.

Sunter J, Webb H, Carrington M. (2013) PLoS Pathogens in press. Determinants of GPI-PLC localisation to the flagellum, and access to GPI-anchored substrates in trypanosomes.