Question

These are the questions that need to be answered for the paper "Expression site attenuation mechanistically links antigenic variation and development in Trypanosoma brucei"

1. What is the context of the paper-background
2. Summarize big picture aspect-impact
3. What is the central hypothesis to be tested
4. FOR each figure-what are the conclusions based upon?
5. What are the controls used in each figure?
6. What is WRONG with the data/interpretation?
7. What experiment would you do to check?
8. What are the major conclusions/results
9. What other experiments do the authors propose?

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1. Cells acquire different functions by expressing different genes whose actions subsequently determine the cells phenotype. For any particular protein to be produced there may be multiple possible genes and multiple possible post-translational modifications required. Turning on the appropriate gene and controlling the full expression of the protein can be accomplished through numerous possible pathways.

One example of how this is accomplished comes from studies of how olfactory neurons specialize to express a single olfactory receptor out of a family of over 1200 possible genes. Initially during the development of these cells all of these genes are silenced and in the heterochromatin state. Through enzymatic action one of the genes is randomly expressed and once the process begins a feedback loop is initiated to keep the other genes silenced.

Pathogens are recognized by their hosts immune system because of antigenic proteins expressed on their cell surface. One way pathogens avoid detection by the immune system is by changing these cell surface proteins to avoid the immune response. Malarial parasites (Plasmodium falciparum) have the option of at least 60 different genes in the var family for producing their surface virulence factor PfEMP1....

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