Molecular cloning and characterization of the DNA mismatch repair gene class 2 from the Trypanosoma cruzi

Luiz Augusto-Pinto, Daniella Castanheira Bartholomeu, Santuza Maria Ribeiro Teixeira, Sérgio D.J. Pena, Carlos Renato Machado

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Genes with homology to the bacterial mutS gene, which encodes a protein involved in post-replication DNA mismatch repair, are known in several organisms. Using a degenerate PCR strategy, we cloned a Trypanosoma cruzi genomic DNA fragment homologous to the mutS gene class two (MSH2). This fragment was used as a probe to select the corresponding cDNAs from a T. cruzi cDNA library. The complete sequence of the gene (3304 bp), denominated TcMSH2, was obtained. The sequence contained an open reading frame of 2889 bp coding for a putative protein of 962 amino acids. Computational analyses of the amino acid sequence showed 36% identity with MSH2 proteins from other eukaryotes and revealed the presence of all functional domains of MutS proteins. Hybridization analyses indicated that the TcMSH2 gene is present as a single copy gene that is expressed in all forms of the T. cruzi life cycle. The role of the product of the TcMSH2 gene in mismatch repair was investigated by negative dominance phenotype analyses in Escherichia coli. When eukaryotic muts genes are expressed in a prokaryotic system, they increase the bacterial mutation rate. The same phenomenon was observed with the TcMSH2 cDNA, indicating that T. cruzi MSH2 interferes with the bacterial mismatch system. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the T. cruzi gene grouped with the MSH2 clade confirming the nature of the gene isolated in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 11 Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA repair
  • Functional complementation
  • Molecular evolution


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