Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC Microbiology





DOI of Original Publication



Originally found at

Date of Submission

August 2014



The three trypanosomatids pathogenic to men, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei andLeishmania major, are etiological agents of Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness and cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. The complete sequencing of these trypanosomatid genomes represented a breakthrough in the understanding of these organisms. Genome sequencing is a step towards solving the parasite biology puzzle, as there are a high percentage of genes encoding proteins without functional annotation. Also, technical limitations in protein expression in heterologous systems reinforce the evident need for the development of a high-throughput reverse genetics platform. Ideally, such platform would lead to efficient cloning and compatibility with various approaches. Thus, we aimed to construct a highly efficient cloning platform compatible with plasmid vectors that are suitable for various approaches.


We constructed a platform with a flexible structure allowing the exchange of various elements, such as promoters, fusion tags, intergenic regions or resistance markers. This platform is based on Gateway® technology, to ensure a fast and efficient cloning system. We obtained plasmid vectors carrying genes for fluorescent proteins (green, cyan or yellow), and sequences for the c-mycepitope, and tandem affinity purification or polyhistidine tags. The vectors were verified by successful subcellular localization of two previously characterized proteins (TcRab7 and PAR 2) and a putative centrin. For the tandem affinity purification tag, the purification of two protein complexes (ribosome and proteasome) was performed.


We constructed plasmids with an efficient cloning system and suitable for use across various applications, such as protein localization and co-localization, protein partner identification and protein expression. This platform also allows vector customization, as the vectors were constructed to enable easy exchange of its elements. The development of this high-throughput platform is a step closer towards large-scale trypanosome applications and initiatives.


© 2010 Batista et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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VCU Study of Biological Complexity Publications