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Nucleic Acids Res. Aug 15, 1996; 24(16): 3229–3234.
PMCID: PMC146066

RNA editing of larch mitochondrial tRNA(His) precursors is a prerequisite for processing.


Larch mitochondria contain a'native'tRNAHis which is absent from angiosperms. Sequence comparisons of genomic DNA and cDNA obtained from unprocessed primary transcripts of the larch mitochondrial gene trnH encoding this tRNA revealed three nucleotide discrepancies. These three nucleotide alterations, in the acceptor stem, D stem and anticodon stem respectively, are conversions of genomic cytidines to thymidines in the cDNA (uridines in the tRNA) and thus resemble the RNA editing events observed in nearly all plant mitochondrial mRNAs. Two cases of editing affecting mitochondrial tRNAs from angiosperms have already been described, but we present here the first example of such events in a gymnosperm mitochondrial tRNA. All three editing events correct mismatched C x A base pairs which appear when folding the gene sequence into the standard cloverleaf structure, thereby improving the secondary structure of the tRNA. When incubated with a heterologous potato mitochondrial processing extract, only the edited form of the larch mitochondrial tRNAHis precursor was efficiently processed in vitro. These data strongly suggest that editing of larch mitochondrial tRNAHis is a prerequisite for its processing.

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Selected References

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