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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. Mar 1997; 61(1): 105–120.
PMCID: PMC232603

RNA editing in kinetoplastid protozoa.


Mitochondrial transcripts in kinetoplastids undergo remarkable posttranscriptional editing by uridylate insertion and deletion. The often dramatic remodeling of pre-mRNA sequences is directed by small guide RNAs (gRNAs) to produce mature mRNAs. In vitro analyses of editing have been used to determine the mechanism of editing and show that editing occurs by a series of enzyme-catalyzed steps. They also show that chimeric gRNA/mRNA molecules are not editing intermediates as proposed but are aberrant end products of editing. The complexes and molecules that catalyze editing are now being identified and characterized. The origin of editing, its developmental regulation which helps control the switching between terminal respiratory systems during the life cycle of trypanosomes, and other areas for future study are discussed.

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