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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 21;96(26):15324-9.

RNA editing in Arabidopsis mitochondria effects 441 C to U changes in ORFs.

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  • 1Universität Ulm, Allgemeine Botanik, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89069 Ulm, Germany.


On the basis of the sequence of the mitochondrial genome in the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, RNA editing events were systematically investigated in the respective RNA population. A total of 456 C to U, but no U to C, conversions were identified exclusively in mRNAs, 441 in ORFs, 8 in introns, and 7 in leader and trailer sequences. No RNA editing was seen in any of the rRNAs or in several tRNAs investigated for potential mismatch corrections. RNA editing affects individual coding regions with frequencies varying between 0 and 18.9% of the codons. The predominance of RNA editing events in the first two codon positions is not related to translational decoding, because it is not correlated with codon usage. As a general effect, RNA editing increases the hydrophobicity of the coded mitochondrial proteins. Concerning the selection of RNA editing sites, little significant nucleotide preference is observed in their vicinity in comparison to unedited C residues. This sequence bias is, per se, not sufficient to specify individual C nucleotides in the total RNA population in Arabidopsis mitochondria.

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