Editing of transfer RNAs in Acanthamoeba castellanii mitochondria

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Science  05 Feb 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5096, pp. 812-816
DOI: 10.1126/science.8430334


With the discovery of RNA editing, a process whereby the primary sequence of RNA is altered after transcription, traditional concepts of genetic information transfer had to be revised. The known RNA editing systems act mainly on messenger RNAs, introducing sequence changes that alter their coding properties. An editing system that acts on transfer RNAs is described here. In the mitochondria of Acanthamoeba castellanii, an amoeboid protozoan, certain transfer RNAs differ in sequence from the genes that encode them. The changes consist of single-nucleotide conversions (U to A, U to G, and A to G) that appear to arise posttranscriptionally, are localized in the acceptor stem, and have the effect of correcting mismatched base pairs. Editing thus restores the base pairing expected of a normal transfer RNA in this region.

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