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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Feb;42(4):2660-72. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1152. Epub 2013 Nov 19.

Trans-splicing and RNA editing of LSU rRNA in Diplonema mitochondria.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Robert-Cedergren Centre for Bioinformatics and Genomics; Université de Montréal, Montreal, H3C 3J7, Canada.

Abstract

Mitochondrial ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) often display reduced size and deviant secondary structure, and sometimes are fragmented, as are their corresponding genes. Here we report a mitochondrial large subunit rRNA (mt-LSU rRNA) with unprecedented features. In the protist Diplonema, the rnl gene is split into two pieces (modules 1 and 2, 534- and 352-nt long) that are encoded by distinct mitochondrial chromosomes, yet the rRNA is continuous. To reconstruct the post-transcriptional maturation pathway of this rRNA, we have catalogued transcript intermediates by deep RNA sequencing and RT-PCR. Gene modules are transcribed separately. Subsequently, transcripts are end-processed, the module-1 transcript is polyuridylated and the module-2 transcript is polyadenylated. The two modules are joined via trans-splicing that retains at the junction ∼ 26 uridines, resulting in an extent of insertion RNA editing not observed before in any system. The A-tail of trans-spliced molecules is shorter than that of mono-module 2, and completely absent from mitoribosome-associated mt-LSU rRNA. We also characterize putative antisense transcripts. Antisense-mono-modules corroborate bi-directional transcription of chromosomes. Antisense-mt-LSU rRNA, if functional, has the potential of guiding concomitantly trans-splicing and editing of this rRNA. Together, these findings open a window on the investigation of complex regulatory networks that orchestrate multiple and biochemically diverse post-transcriptional events.

PMID:
24259427
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3936708
Free PMC Article
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