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Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Jun 11;20(11):2717-24.

Computer methods for locating kinetoplastid cryptogenes.

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Department of Mathematics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1113.


RNA editing in the mitochondria of kinetoplastid protoza involves the insertion and/or deletion of precise numbers of uridine residues at precise locations in the numbers of uridine residues at precise locations in the transcribed RNA of certain genes. These genes are known as cryptogenes. In this paper we study computational algorithms to search for unknown cryptogenes and for the associated templates for insertion of uridines, gRNA sequences. The pairwise similarity search algorithm of Smith and Waterman (1) is modified to study this problem. The algorithm searches for unknown gRNAs given the cryptogene sequence. The method is tested on 4 known cryptogenes from L.tarentolae which are known to have 7 associated gRNAs. The statistical distribution of the longest gRNA when comparing random sequences is derived. Finally we develop an algorithm to search for cryptogenes using amino acid sequences from related proteins.

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