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Cell. 1990 Jan 26;60(2):189-98.

A model for RNA editing in kinetoplastid mitochondria: "guide" RNA molecules transcribed from maxicircle DNA provide the edited information.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


A class of small RNA molecules possibly involved in RNA editing is present in the mitochondrion of Leishmania tarentolae. These "guide" RNA (gRNA) molecules are encoded in intergenic regions of the mitochondrial maxicircle DNA and contain sequences that represent precise complementary versions of the mature mRNAs within the edited regions. In addition, the 5' portions of several gRNAs can form hybrids with mRNAs just 3' of the preedited region. A model is presented in which a partial hybrid formed between the gRNA and preedited mRNA is substrate for multiple cycles of cleavage, addition or deletion of uridylates, and religation, eventually resulting in a complete hybrid between the gRNA and the mature edited mRNA.

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