A series of Trypanosoma brucei transfection vectors was constructed in which transcription of the luciferase gene was driven by the procyclic acidic repetitive protein (procyclin) promoter. The untranslated regions surrounding the luciferase gene were derived from the actin, fructose bisphosphate aldolase, or PARP loci. Trans-splicing of the resulting transcripts occurred as expected, but the site of 3' polyadenylation was upstream of the position anticipated. The nature of the 3'-untranslated region was crucial to the level of expression in bloodstream forms. (C) 1993 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.