tRNA Biology in Trypanosomes

Shikha, Shikha; Brogli, Rebecca; Schneider, André; Polacek, Norbert (2019). tRNA Biology in Trypanosomes. CHIMIA, 73(5), pp. 395-405. Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft 10.2533/chimia.2019.395

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Besides their medical importance, the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and its relatives are experimentally highly accessible model systems for many cell biological processes. Trypanosomes are phylogenetically essentially unrelated to the popular model eukaryotes, such as yeast and animals, and thus show several unique features, many of which are connected to RNA. Here we review the tRNA biology of trypanosomes. Even though tRNAs were already discovered 60 years ago, owing to current technological advances in the field, research on tRNA biology has seen a Renaissance in recent years. First we discuss the extensive mitochondrial tRNA import process and the consequences it has for the parasite. Next we focus on trypanosomal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, some of which may be exploited as drug targets. Furthermore, we summarize what is known about trypanosomal tRNA modifications in both the cytosol and the mitochondrion. Finally, we provide an overview on the emerging field of tRNA-derived fragments and their possible function as translation regulators.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry
08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry > NCCR RNA & Disease

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Shikha, Shikha; Brogli, Rebecca; Schneider, André and Polacek, Norbert


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2019 11:31

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 16:50

Publisher DOI:





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