Transcriptomic profiling of gene expression and RNA processing during Leishmania major differentiation.

TitleTranscriptomic profiling of gene expression and RNA processing during Leishmania major differentiation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsDillon LAL, Okrah K, V Hughitt K, Suresh R, Li Y, Fernandes MCecilia, A Belew T, Bravo HCorrada, Mosser DM, El-Sayed NM
JournalNucleic Acids Res

Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania are the etiological agents of leishmaniasis, a group of diseases with a worldwide incidence of 0.9-1.6 million cases per year. We used RNA-seq to conduct a high-resolution transcriptomic analysis of the global changes in gene expression and RNA processing events that occur as L. major transforms from non-infective procyclic promastigotes to infective metacyclic promastigotes. Careful statistical analysis across multiple biological replicates and the removal of batch effects provided a high quality framework for comprehensively analyzing differential gene expression and transcriptome remodeling in this pathogen as it acquires its infectivity. We also identified precise 5' and 3' UTR boundaries for a majority of Leishmania genes and detected widespread alternative trans-splicing and polyadenylation. An investigation of possible correlations between stage-specific preferential trans-splicing or polyadenylation sites and differentially expressed genes revealed a lack of systematic association, establishing that differences in expression levels cannot be attributed to stage-regulated alternative RNA processing. Our findings build on and improve existing expression datasets and provide a substantially more detailed view of L. major biology that will inform the field and potentially provide a stronger basis for drug discovery and vaccine development efforts.

PubMed ID26150419
PubMed Central IDPMC4538839