As in other eucaryotes, the nuclear genome in Trypanosoma brucei is organised into silent domains and active domains transcribed by distinct RNA polymerases. The basic mechanisms underlying eucaryotic gene transcription are conserved between humans and yeast, and understood in some detail in these cells. Meanwhile, relatively little is known about the transcription machinery, the chromatin templates or their interactions in trypanosomatids. Here, I discuss and compare nuclear gene transcription in T. brucei with transcription in other eucaryotes focusing in particular on mono-allelic transcription of genes that encode the variant surface glycoproteins.
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