The coding sequence within several mitochondrial mRNAs of the trypanosomatid protozoa is created through editing by the precise insertion and deletion of U nucleotides. The biochemical characterisation of the editing reaction in the Leishmania genus of the trypanosomatids has been hindered by the lack of a direct in vitro assay. We describe here the first direct assay for the detection of guide RNA-directed editing mediated by a mitochondrial extract prepared from two independent isolates of Leishmania tarentolae. The assay enabled the editing activity within a L. tarentolae mitochondrial extract to be significantly enriched and will facilitate the characterisation of the editing reaction. The results suggest that the difficulty in establishing an assay for the L. tarentolae reaction was not simply a result of the catalytic machinery being limiting but rather reflected the presence of constraints on both the guide RNA and mRNA sequences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by NIH grant AI41138. L.M.O. was supported by American Heart Association post-doctoral fellowship MN/9920509Z.
- Guide RNA
- In vitro assay
- RNA editing