Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial guide RNA-mRNA chimera-forming activity cofractionates with an editing-domain-specific endonuclease and RNA ligase and is mimicked by heterologous nuclease and RNA ligase

K. J. Piller, C. J. Decker, L. N. Rusche, B. Sollner-Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

RNA editing in trypanosomes has been proposed to occur through transesterification or endonuclease cleavage and RNA ligation reactions. Both models involve a chimeric intermediate in which a guide RNA (gRNA) is joined through its 3' oligo(U) tail to an editing site of the corresponding mRNA. Velocity centrifugation of Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial extracts had been reported to completely separate the gRNA-mRNA chimera-forming activity from endonuclease activity (V. W. Pollard, M. E. Harris, and S. L. Hajduk, EMBO J. 11:4429-4438, 1992), appearing to rule out the endonuclease-RNA ligase mechanism. However, we show that an editing-domain-specific endonuclease activity does cosediment with the chimera-forming activity, as does the RNA ligase activity, but detection of the specific endonuclease requires reducing assay conditions. This report further demonstrates that the T. brucei chimera-forming activity is mimicked by mung bean nuclease and T4 RNA ligase. Using cytochrome b (CYb) preedited mRNA and a model CYb gRNA, we found that these heterologous enzymes specifically generate CYb gRNA-mRNA chimeras analogous to those formed in the mitochondrial extract. These combined results provide support for the endonuclease-RNA ligase mechanism of chimera formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2925-2932
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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