Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 563–571 | Cite as

The sequence and organization of the core histone H3 and H4 genes in the early branching amitochondriate protistTrichomonas vaginalis

  • Alexandra Marinets
  • Miklós Müller
  • Patricia J. Johnson
  • Jaroslav Kulda
  • Otto Scheiner
  • Gerhard Wiedermann
  • Michael Duchêne


Among the unicellular protists, several of which are parasitic, some of the most divergent eukaryotic species are found. The evolutionary distances between protists are so large that even slowly evolving proteins like histones are strongly divergent. In this study we isolated cDNA and genomic histone H3 and H4 clones fromTrichomonas vaginalis. Two histone H3 and three histone H4 genes were detected on three genomic clones with one complete H3 and two complete H4 sequences. H3 and H4 genes were divergently transcribed with very short intergenic regions of only 194 bp, which containedT. vaginalis-specific as well as histone-specific putative promoter elements. Southern blot analysis showed that there may be several more histone gene pairs. The two complete histone H4 genes were different on the nucleotide level but encoded the same amino acid sequence. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of theT. vaginalis H3 and H4 histones with sequences from animals, fungi, and plants as well as other protists revealed a significant divergence not only from the sequences in multicellular organisms but especially from the sequences in other protists likeEntamoeba histolytica, Trypanosoma cruzi, andLeishmania infantum.

Key words

Histone Amitochondriate protist Trichomonas vaginalis Protein evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Marinets
    • 5
    • 1
  • Miklós Müller
    • 2
  • Patricia J. Johnson
    • 3
  • Jaroslav Kulda
    • 4
  • Otto Scheiner
    • 1
  • Gerhard Wiedermann
    • 5
  • Michael Duchêne
    • 5
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of General and Experimental PathologyUniversity of Vienna, AKHViennaAustria
  2. 2.Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Molecular Biology InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of ParasitologyCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  5. 5.Institute for Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical MedicineUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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