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Plant Physiol. 2010 Feb;152(2):939-47. doi: 10.1104/pp.109.151175. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

MEF9, an E-subclass pentatricopeptide repeat protein, is required for an RNA editing event in the nad7 transcript in mitochondria of Arabidopsis.

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Molekulare Botanik, Universität Ulm, 89069 Ulm, Germany.


RNA editing in plants alters specific nucleotides from C to U in mRNAs in plastids and in mitochondria. I here characterize the nuclear gene MITOCHONDRIAL EDITING FACTOR9 (MEF9) that is required for RNA editing of the site nad7-200 in the nad7 mitochondrial mRNA in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The MEF9 protein belongs to the E subfamily of pentatricopeptide repeat proteins and unlike the three previously identified mitochondrial editing factors MEF1 and MEF11 in Arabidopsis and OGR1 in rice (Oryza sativa) does not contain a DYW C-terminal domain. In addition, the E domain is incomplete, but seems to be functionally required, since one of the two independent EMS mutants encodes a MEF9 protein truncated by a stop codon at the beginning of the E domain. In both mutant plants premature stop codons in MEF9 inactivate RNA editing at site nad7-200. The homozygous mutant plants are viable and develop rather normally. The lack of RNA editing at site nad7-200 thus seems to be tolerated although this editing event is conserved in most plant species or the genomic sequence already codes for a T at this position, resulting in a generally conserved amino acid codon.

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