The mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (cox) subunit II gene from trypanosomes contains a frameshift at amino acid 170. This gene is highly conserved in different trypanosome species, suggesting that it is functional. Sequence determination of coxII transcripts of T. brucei and C. fasciculata reveals four extra, reading frame-restoring nucleotides at the frameshift position that are not encoded in the DNA. Southern blot analysis of DNA of both trypanosome species failed to show the existence of a second version of the coxII gene. We conclude, therefore, that the extra nucleotides are added during or after transcription of the frameshift gene by an RNA-editing process.