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Unusual Noncanonical Intron Editing Is Important for tRNA splicing in Trypanosoma brucei

Date: 25.9.2015 

In cells, tRNAs are synthesized as precursor molecules bearing extra sequences at their 5' and 3' ends. Some tRNAs also contain introns, which, in archaea and eukaryotes, are cleaved by an evolutionarily conserved endonuclease complex that generates fully functional mature tRNAs. In addition, tRNAs undergo numerous posttranscriptional nucleotide chemical modifications. In Trypanosoma brucei, the single intron-containing tRNA (tRNA(Tyr)GUA) is responsible for decoding all tyrosine codons; therefore, intron removal is essential for viability. Using molecular and biochemical approaches, we show the presence of several noncanonical editing events, within the intron of pre-tRNA(Tyr)GUA, involving guanosine-to-adenosine transitions (G to A) and an adenosine-to-uridine transversion (A to U). The RNA editing described here is required for proper processing of the intron, establishing the functional significance of noncanonical editing with implications for tRNA processing in the deeply divergent kinetoplastid lineage and eukaryotes in general.

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We acknowledge the use of research infrastructure that has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 316304.





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