Implications of novel guide RNA features for the mechanism of RNA editing in Crithidia fasciculata

G. J. Arts, H. van der Spek, D. Speijer, J. van den Burg, H. van Steeg, P. Sloof, R. Benne

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We have determined the relative steady state concentration of the two Crithidia fasciculata guide (g)RNAs involved in editing the two domains of mRNAs for NADH dehydrogenase (ND) subunit 7. We found that, although there was an 8-fold difference between the molar ratio of these two gRNAs relative to the (pre)-mRNA, the two domains are edited with a very similar frequency (around 50%). Also, for the editing of a given domain, many gRNA species exist with the same 5' end but with a different 3' uridylation site. Approximately 20% of these short gRNAs do not contain the information required for editing a complete domain, which may explain the high incidence of partially edited RNAs. Remarkably, genomically encoded Us are missing from two sites of a few of the gRNAs involved in editing apocytochrome b RNA. We speculate that these species are created by editing-like events. Both the short and complete forms of the ND7 gRNAs are found in chimeric molecules, in which the gRNA is covalently linked via its 3'-terminus to an editing site of pre-edited ND7 RNA. Some features of the chimeric molecules are at odds with current models of RNA editing: (i) U residues are completely absent from the connecting sequence of a number of these molecules, (ii) the ND7 gRNAs are frequently hooked up to the wrong editing domain of ND7 RNA, although other gRNAs are not found at these positions and (iii) in some chimeric molecules the gRNA appears to be linked to the 5' end of pre-edited RNA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1532
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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