A Trypanosoma brucei small RNP particle containing the 5S rRNA

Shulamit Michaeli, Nina Agabian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In mammalian cells, approximately 50% of the 5S rRNA is found in ribosomes, and the remainder in a small particle, the 5S rRNA/ribosomal protein L5 complex, which is thought to be a precursor in ribosome assembly [1]. Trypanosoma brucei, an African trypanosome, is one of the most primitive eukaryotic organisms which have been studied, and it likewise possesses a 5S rRNA species, a small proportion of which is found in an apparent ribonucleoprotein-(RNP) complex. Like the mammalian RNP particle, the T. brucei particle has a sedimentation coefficient of about 7S in sucrose gradients; unlike its mammalian counterpart, the complex is not disrupted by high salt and can be fractionated in cesium sulfate density gradients at a density characteristic of RNP complexes (1.45 g ml-1). Our studies demonstrate the the T. brucei 7S RNP contains 5S rRNA in association with a 36-kDa rRNA binding protein which not only shares molecular size, but also immunological determinants, with the yeast ribosomal protein YL3, and its mammalian homologue, L5. These results indicate that the RNP complex formed between the 5S rRNA and the 36-kDa ribosomal protein is conserved throughout great evolutionary distances between eukaryotic species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • 5S rRNA
  • Kinetoplastid
  • Ribosomal protein
  • Trypanosoma brucei


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