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RNA Binding and Core Complexes Constitute the U-Insertion/Deletion Editosome


Enzymes embedded into the RNA editing core complex (RECC) catalyze the U-insertion/deletion editing cascade to generate open reading frames in trypanosomal mitochondrial mRNAs. The sequential reactions of mRNA cleavage, U-addition or removal, and ligation are directed by guide RNAs (gRNAs). We combined proteomic, genetic, and functional studies with sequencing of total and complex-bound RNAs to define a protein particle responsible for the recognition of gRNAs and pre-mRNA substrates, editing intermediates, and products. This approximately 23-polypeptide tripartite assembly, termed the RNA editing substrate binding complex (RESC), also functions as the interface between mRNA editing, polyadenylation, and translation. Furthermore, we found that gRNAs represent only a subset of small mitochondrial RNAs, and yet an inexplicably high fraction of them possess 3' U-tails, which correlates with gRNA's enrichment in the RESC. Although both gRNAs and mRNAs are associated with the RESC, their metabolic fates are distinct: gRNAs are degraded in an editing-dependent process, whereas edited mRNAs undergo 3' adenylation/uridylation prior to translation. Our results demonstrate that the well-characterized editing core complex (RECC) and the RNA binding particle defined in this study (RESC) typify enzymatic and substrate binding macromolecular constituents, respectively, of the ∼40S RNA editing holoenzyme, the editosome.

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