Mutational analysis of Trypanosoma brucei editosome proteins KREPB4 and KREPB5 reveals domains critical for function

Jason Carnes, Achim Schnaufer, Suzanne M. Mcdermott, Gonzalo J Domingo, Rose Proff, Alodie G. Steinberg, Irina Kurtz, Kenneth Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The transcriptome of kinetoplastid mitochondria undergoes extensive RNA editing that inserts and deletes uridine residues (U's) to produce mature mRNAs. The editosome is a multiprotein complex that provides endonuclease, TUTase, exonuclease, and ligase activities required for RNA editing. The editosome's KREPB4 and KREPB5 proteins are essential for editosome integrity and parasite viability and contain semi-conserved motifs corresponding to zinc finger, RNase III, and PUF domains, but to date no functional analysis of these domains has been reported. We show here that various point mutations to KREPB4 and KREPB5 identify essential domains, and suggest that these proteins do not themselves perform RNase III catalysis. The zinc finger of KREPB4 but not KREPB5 is essential for editosome integrity and parasite viability, and mutation of the RNase III signature motif in KREPB5 prevents integration into editosomes, which is lethal. Isolated TAP-tagged KREPB4 and KREPB5 complexes preferentially associate with components of the deletion subcomplex, providing additional insights into editosome architecture. A new alignment of editosome RNase III sequences from several kinetoplastid species implies that KREPB4 and KREPB5 lack catalytic activity and reveals that the PUF motif is present in the editing endonucleases KREN1, KREN2, and KREN3. The data presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that KREPB4 and KREPB5 form intermolecular heterodimers with the catalytically active editing endonucleases, which is unprecedented among known RNase III proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1897-1909
Number of pages13
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Editosome
  • Endonuclease
  • Endoribonuclease
  • RNA editing
  • RNase III
  • Trypanosoma brucei


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