Info

Expression site 1

Expression site 1

OFF VSG gene

Expression site 2

OFF VSG gene

Expression site 3...and so on

FIGURE 19.16 Variation of VSG by Switching Expression Sites

VSG genes are found at the ends of the megabase chromosome. Only one of these genes is active at any one time, and only that VSG protein is manufactured. Every so often, the trypanosome turns off this expression site and turns on a different one. The new VSG gene produces a VSG protein with a different shape that can evade the immune system.

Switch expression site

OFF VSG gene

Expression site 1

OFF VSG gene

Expression site 1

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