RBP16 stimulates trypanosome RNA editing in vitro at an early step in the editing reaction. Academic Article uri icon


  • RBP16 is an abundant RNA binding protein from Trypanosoma brucei mitochondria that affects both RNA editing and stability. We report here experiments aimed at elucidating the mechanism of RBP16 function in RNA editing. In in vitro RNA editing assays, recombinant RBP16 is able to significantly stimulate insertion editing of both CYb and A6 pre-mRNAs. Enhancement of in vitro editing activity occurs at, or prior to, the step of pre-mRNA cleavage, as evidenced by increased accumulation of pre-mRNA 3' cleavage products in the presence of RBP16. Mutated RBP16 that is severely compromised in cold shock domain (CSD)-mediated RNA binding was able to enhance editing to levels comparable to the wild-type protein in some assays at the highest RBP16 levels tested. However, at low RBP16 concentrations or in assays with native, oligo(U)-tail-bearing gRNAs, editing stimulation by mutant RBP16 was somewhat compromised. Together, these results indicate that both the N-terminal CSD and C-terminal RGG RNA binding domains of RBP16 are required for maximal editing stimulation. Finally, the relaxed specificity of RBP16 for stimulation of both CYb and A6 editing in vitro implicates additional specificity factors that account for the strict CYb specificity of RBP16 action in editing in vivo. Our results constitute the first report of any putative RNA editing accessory factor eliciting an effect on editing in vitro. Overall, these results support a novel accessory role for RBP16 in U insertion editing.

published proceedings

  • RNA

author list (cited authors)

  • Miller, M. M., Halbig, K., Cruz-Reyes, J., & Read, L. K.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Miller, Melissa M||Halbig, Kari||Cruz-Reyes, Jorge||Read, Laurie K

publication date

  • July 2006

published in

  • RNA  Journal