Alternative editing of cytochrome c oxidase III mRNA in trypanosome mitochondria generates protein diversity

EMBO Rep. 2006 Nov;7(11):1128-33. doi: 10.1038/sj.embor.7400817. Epub 2006 Sep 29.


Trypanosomes use RNA editing to produce most functional mitochondrial messenger RNA. Precise insertion and deletion of hundreds of uridines is necessary to make full-length cytochrome c oxidase III (COXIII) mRNA. We show that COXIII mRNA can be alternatively edited by a mechanism using an alternative guide RNA to make a stable mRNA. This alternatively edited mRNA is translated to produce a unique protein that fractionates with mitochondrial membranes and colocalizes with mitochondrial proteins in situ. Alternative RNA editing represents a previously unknown mechanism generating protein diversity and, as such, represents an important function for RNA editing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / blood*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA Editing*
  • RNA, Guide / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Protozoan / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / enzymology*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / genetics


  • RNA, Guide
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Protozoan
  • mitochondrial messenger RNA
  • Electron Transport Complex IV