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1.  Giardia lamblia Nek1 and Nek2 kinases affect mitosis and excystation 
The NIMA-related serine/threonine kinases (Neks) function in the cell cycle and regulate ciliary and flagellar length. The Giardia lamblia genome encodes 198 Neks, of which 56 are predicted to be active. Here we believe that we report the first functional analysis of two Giardia lamblia Neks. The GlNek1 and GlNek2 kinase domains share 57% and 43% identity to the kinase domains of human Nek1 and Nek2, respectively. Both GlNeks are active in vitro, have dynamic relocalization during the cell cycle, and are expressed throughout the life cycle, with GlNek1 being upregulated in cysts. Over-expression of inactive GlNek1 delays disassembly of the parental attachment disk and cytokinesis, while over-expression of either wild type GlNek1 or inactive mutant GlNek2 inhibits excystation.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.03.001
PMCID: PMC3342309  PMID: 22429767
Giardia; Nek; Kinase; Mitosis; Excystation
2.  Novel Core Promoter Elements and a Cognate Transcription Factor in the Divergent Unicellular Eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis▿ 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2011;31(7):1444-1458.
A highly conserved DNA initiator (Inr) element has been the only core promoter element described in the divergent unicellular eukaryote Trichomonas vaginalis, although genome analyses reveal that only ∼75% of protein-coding genes appear to contain an Inr. In search of another core promoter element(s), a nonredundant database containing 5′ untranslated regions of expressed T. vaginalis genes was searched for overrepresented DNA motifs and known eukaryotic core promoter elements. In addition to identifying the Inr, two elements that lack sequence similarity to the known protein-coding gene core promoter, motif 3 (M3) and motif 5 (M5), were identified. Mutational and functional analyses demonstrate that both are novel core promoter elements. M3 [(A/G/T)(A/G)C(G/C)G(T/C)T(T/A/G)] resembles a Myb recognition element (MRE) and is bound specifically by a unique protein with a Myb-like DNA binding domain. The M5 element (CCTTT) overlaps the transcription start site and replaces the Inr as an alternative, gene-specific initiator element. Transcription specifically initiates at the second cytosine within M5, in contrast to characteristic initiation by RNA polymerase II at an adenosine. In promoters that combine M3 with either M5 or Inr, transcription initiation is regulated by the M3 motif.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00745-10
PMCID: PMC3135286  PMID: 21245378
3.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Sexually Transmitted Pathogen Trichomonas vaginalis 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2007;315(5809):207-212.
We describe the genome sequence of the protist Trichomonas vaginalis, a sexually transmitted human pathogen. Repeats and transposable elements comprise about two-thirds of the ~160-megabase genome, reflecting a recent massive expansion of genetic material. This expansion, in conjunction with the shaping of metabolic pathways that likely transpired through lateral gene transfer from bacteria, and amplification of specific gene families implicated in pathogenesis and phagocytosis of host proteins may exemplify adaptations of the parasite during its transition to a urogenital environment. The genome sequence predicts previously unknown functions for the hydrogenosome, which support a common evolutionary origin of this unusual organelle with mitochondria.
doi:10.1126/science.1132894
PMCID: PMC2080659  PMID: 17218520

Results 1-3 (3)