A new study entitled “Proteomic Analysis of the Cell Cycle of Procylic Form Trypanosoma brucei” has just been published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics (Crozier et al., 2018, Mol Cell Proteomics 2018 17: 1184-1195). This study resulted from a collaboration between the laboratories of Mike Ferguson (BCDD) and Angus Lamond (GRE).  Trypanosoma brucei is an evolutionarily divergent eukaryotic protozoan parasite that causes human and animal trypanosomiasis (also called ‘sleeping sickness’) in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, the authors developed a single-step centrifugal elutriation method, allowing the isolation of synchronous Gap1 (G1)-phase procyclic trypanosomes at a large enough scale for a detailed proteomic analysis of the cell cycle. Using ten-plex tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling and mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, over 5,300 trypanosome proteins were identified and their expression quantified across the cell cycle. The expression of 384 proteins was shown to vary significantly during cell cycle progression and this included 40 novel cell cycle regulated proteins that are essential for trypanosome survival. Many of the novel cell cycle regulated proteins identified were independently confirmed to show cell cycle regulation by reference to the microscopy-based ‘Tryp-Tag’ database. As the 40 essential proteins found to be cell cycle regulated are classed as hypothetical proteins of unknown function, lacking obvious sequence homology to proteins characterized in other eukaryotes, they include some promising new candidates to target with drugs for treating sleeping sickness, because they could selectively interfere with trypanosomatid, rather than host, cell division. All of these new data on cell cycle regulated proteins in Trypanosoma brucei have been made conveniently available to the community in a searchable online database (see;

“Proteomic Analysis of the Cell Cycle of Procylic Form Trypanosoma brucei

Thomas W. M. Crozier, Michele Tinti, Richard J. Wheeler, Tony Ly, Michael A. J. Ferguson, and Angus I. Lamond

Mol Cell Proteomics 2018 17: 1184-1195