Genome-scale functional profiling of cell cycle controls in African trypanosomes

Catarina A. Marques*, Michele Tinti*, Andrew Cassidy, David Horn

This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review


Trypanosomatids, which include major pathogens of humans and livestock, are divergent eukaryotes for which cell cycle controls and the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Here, we describe a genome-wide RNA-interference library screen for cell cycle regulators in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. We induced massive parallel knockdown and sorted the perturbed population into cell cycle stages using flow cytometry. RNAi-targets were deep-sequenced from each stage and cell cycle profiles were digitally reconstructed at a genomic scale. We identify hundreds of proteins that impact cell cycle progression; glycolytic enzymes required for G1S progression, DNA replication factors, mitosis regulators, proteasome and kinetochore complex components required for G2M progression, flagellar and cytoskeletal components required for cytokinesis, mRNA-binding factors, protein kinases and many previously uncharacterised proteins. The outputs facilitate functional annotation and drug-target prioritisation and provide comprehensive functional genomic evidence for the machineries, pathways and regulators that coordinate progression through the trypanosome cell cycle.

The data can be searched and browsed using an interactive, open access, online data visualization tool (

*Joint 1st authors