Isoenzymes of phosphoglycerate kinase in Trypanosoma brucei are differentially expressed in its two main life stages. This study addresses how the organism manages to make sufficient amounts of the isoenzyme with the correct localization, which processes (transcription, splicing, and RNA degradation) control the levels of mRNAs, and how the organism regulates the switch in isoform expression. For this, we combined new quantitative measurements of phosphoglycerate kinase mRNA abundance, RNA precursor stability, trans splicing, and ribosome loading with published data and made a kinetic computer model. For the analysis of regulation we extended regulation analysis. Although phosphoglycerate kinase mRNAs are present at surprisingly low concentrations (e.g. 12 molecules per cell), its protein is highly abundant. Substantial control of mRNA and protein levels was exerted by both mRNA synthesis and degradation, whereas splicing and precursor degradation had little control on mRNA and protein concentrations. Yet regulation of mRNA levels does not occur by transcription, but by adjusting mRNA degradation. The contribution of splicing to regulation is negligible, as for all cases where splicing is faster than RNA precursor degradation. © 2008 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.