The segregation of kinetoplast DNA networks in Trypanosoma brucei

J. H.J. Hoeijmakers, P. J. Weijers

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48 Citations (Scopus)


The kinetoplast DNA of Trypanosoma brucei consists of 104 minicircles (0.3 μm) and 102 maxicircles (6 μm) held together by catenation in a complex network. In electron micrographs of kinetoplast DNA spread in a protein monolayer we have identified four types of network with the appearance of different stages in network replication and segregation. We show that each network type has characteristic properties with respect to shape, size, number, and location of maxicircle loops and nicked or covalently closed character of minicircles and maxicircles. We propose a detailed model for network segregation that involves a gradual elongation of the network, followed by network cleavage. During this process the basic network structure remains unaltered, implying a complicated mechanism of minicircle rearrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-116
Number of pages20
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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