Two genes have been identified as up-regulated late during ConA-induced apoptosis in procyclic form Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. The first represents a homologue of prohibitin, a proto-oncogene originally described in mammals and subsequently in yeast, which is involved in cell-cycle control and senescence. The Trypanosoma prohibitin homologue appears to contain within it a putative death domain. The second gene, homologous to a family of regulatory proteins which are receptors for activated protein kinase C (RACKs), is also shown to be up-regulated in terminally differentiated bloodstream form trypanosomes. These are the first endogenous genes to be identified as up-regulated in programmed cell death (PCD) in unicellular organisms.
Welburn, S.C.; Murphy, N.B. Prohibitin and RACK homologues are up-regulated in trypanosomes induced to undergo apoptosis and in naturally occurring terminally differentiated forms. Cell Death & Differentiation (1998) 5 (7) 615-622.