Unique Aspects of rRNA Biogenesis in Trypanosomatids

K. Shanmugha Rajan, Vaibhav Chikne, Kathryn Decker, Hiba Waldman Ben-Asher, Shulamit Michaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Trypanosomatids are protozoan parasites that cycle between an insect and a mammalian host. The large-subunit rRNA of these organisms undergoes unique processing events absent in other eukaryotes. Recently, small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) that mediate these specific cleavages were identified. Trypanosomatid rRNA is rich in RNA modifications such as 2′-O-methylation (Nm) and pseudouridylation (Ψ) that are also guided by these snoRNAs. A subset of these modifications is developmentally regulated and increased in the parasite form that propagates in the mammalian host. Such hypermodification contributes the temperature adaptation and hence infectivity during cycling of the parasite. rRNA processing and modification should be considered promising drug targets for fighting the diseases caused by these parasites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-794
Number of pages17
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • rRNA modification
  • rRNA processing
  • rRNA processing factors
  • small nucleolar RNAs
  • trypanosomatids


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