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Extensive Translational Regulation through the Proliferative Transition of Trypanosoma cruzi Revealed by Multi-Omics

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Article numbere00366-21
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2021
Issue number5
Number of pages21
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent for Chagas disease, a neglected parasitic disease in Latin America. Gene transcription control governs the eukaryotic cell replication but is absent in trypanosomatids; thus, it must be replaced by posttranscriptional regulatory events. We investigated the entrance into the T. cruzi replicative cycle using ribosome profiling and proteomics on G1/S epimastigote cultures synchronized with hydroxyurea. We identified 1,784 translationally regulated genes (change > 2, false-discovery rate [FDR] < 0.05) and 653 differentially expressed proteins (change > 1.5, FDR < 0.05), respectively. A major translational remodeling accompanied by an extensive proteome change is found, while the transcriptome remains largely unperturbed at the replicative entrance of the cell cycle. The differentially expressed genes comprise specific cell cycle processes, confirming previous findings while revealing candidate cell cycle regulators that undergo previously unnoticed translational regulation. Clusters of genes showing a coordinated regulation at translation and protein abundance share related biological functions such as cytoskeleton organization and mitochondrial metabolism; thus, they may represent posttranscriptional regulons. The translatome and proteome of the coregulated clusters change in both coupled and uncoupled directions, suggesting that complex cross talk between the two processes is required to achieve adequate protein levels of different regulons. This is the first simultaneous assessment of the transcriptome, translatome, and proteome of trypanosomatids, which represent a paradigm for the absence of transcriptional control. The findings suggest that gene expression chronology along the T. cruzi cell cycle is controlled mainly by translatome and proteome changes coordinated using different mechanisms for specific gene groups.