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Eukaryot Cell. 2012 Sep;11(9):1119-31. doi: 10.1128/EC.00175-12. Epub 2012 Jul 13.

Multifunctional G-rich and RRM-containing domains of TbRGG2 perform separate yet essential functions in trypanosome RNA editing.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.


Efficient editing of Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial RNAs involves the actions of multiple accessory factors. T. brucei RGG2 (TbRGG2) is an essential protein crucial for initiation and 3'-to-5' progression of editing. TbRGG2 comprises an N-terminal G-rich region containing GWG and RG repeats and a C-terminal RNA recognition motif (RRM)-containing domain. Here, we perform in vitro and in vivo separation-of-function studies to interrogate the mechanism of TbRGG2 action in RNA editing. TbRGG2 preferentially binds preedited mRNA in vitro with high affinity attributable to its G-rich region. RNA-annealing and -melting activities are separable, carried out primarily by the G-rich and RRM domains, respectively. In vivo, the G-rich domain partially complements TbRGG2 knockdown, but the RRM domain is also required. Notably, TbRGG2's RNA-melting activity is dispensable for RNA editing in vivo. Interactions between TbRGG2 and MRB1 complex proteins are mediated by both G-rich and RRM-containing domains, depending on the binding partner. Overall, our results are consistent with a model in which the high-affinity RNA binding and RNA-annealing activities of the G-rich domain are essential for RNA editing in vivo. The RRM domain may have key functions involving interactions with the MRB1 complex and/or regulation of the activities of the G-rich domain.

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