Trypanosoma brucei RNA Editing: Coupled Cycles of U Deletion Reveal Processive Activity of the Editing Complex▿ Academic Article uri icon


  • RNA editing in Trypanosoma brucei is posttranscriptional uridylate removal/addition, generally at vast numbers of pre-mRNA sites, but to date, only single editing cycles have been examined in vitro. We here demonstrate achieving sequential cycles of U deletion in vitro, with editing products confirmed by sequence analysis. Notably, the subsequent editing cycle is much more efficient and occurs far more rapidly than single editing cycles; plus, it has different recognition requirements. This indicates that the editing complex acts in a concerted manner and does not dissociate from the RNA substrate between these cycles. Furthermore, the multicycle substrate exhibits editing that is unexpected from a strictly 3'-to-5' progression, reminiscent of the unexpected editing that has been shown to occur frequently in T. brucei mRNAs edited in vivo. This unexpected editing is most likely due to alternate mRNA:guide RNA (gRNA) alignment forming a hyphenated anchor; its having only a 2-bp proximal duplex helps explain the prevalence of unexpected editing in vivo. Such unexpected editing was not previously reported in vitro, presumably because the common use of artificially tight mRNA:gRNA base pairing precludes alternate alignments. The multicycle editing and unexpected editing presented in this paper bring in vitro reactions closer to reproducing the in vivo editing process.

author list (cited authors)

  • Alatortsev, V. S., Cruz-Reyes, J., Zhelonkina, A. G., & Sollner-Webb, B.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • January 2008