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Mol Cell. 2003 Jun;11(6):1525-36.

TbMP57 is a 3' terminal uridylyl transferase (TUTase) of the Trypanosoma brucei editosome.

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Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


RNA editing produces mature trypanosome mitochondrial mRNAs by uridylate (U) insertion and deletion. In insertion editing, Us are added to the pre-mRNA by a 3' terminal uridylyl transferase (TUTase) activity. We report the identification of a TUTase activity that copurifies with in vitro editing and is catalyzed by the integral editosome protein TbMP57. TbMP57 catalyzes the addition of primarily a single U to single-stranded (ss) RNA and adds the number of Us specified by a guide RNA to insertion editing-like substrates. TbMP57 is distinct from a previously identified TUTase that adds many Us to ssRNA and which we find is neither a stable editosome component nor does it add Us to editing-like substrates. Recombinant TbMP57 specifically interacts with the editosome protein TbMP81, and this interaction enhances the TUTase activity. These results suggest that TbMP57 catalyzes U addition to pre-mRNA during editing.

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