Lexis and Grammar of Mitochondrial RNA Processing in Trypanosomes

Inna Aphasizheva, Juan Alfonzo, Jason Carnes, Igor Cestari, Jorge Cruz-Reyes, H. Ulrich Göringer, Stephen Hajduk, Julius Lukeš, Susan Madison-Antenucci, Dmitri A. Maslov, Suzanne M. McDermott, Torsten Ochsenreiter, Laurie K. Read, Reza Salavati, Achim Schnaufer, André Schneider, Larry Simpson, Kenneth Stuart, Vyacheslav Yurchenko, Z. Hong ZhouAlena Zíková, Liye Zhang, Sara Zimmer, Ruslan Aphasizhev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Trypanosoma brucei spp. cause African human and animal trypanosomiasis, a burden on health and economy in Africa. These hemoflagellates are distinguished by a kinetoplast nucleoid containing mitochondrial DNAs of two kinds: maxicircles encoding ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and proteins and minicircles bearing guide RNAs (gRNAs) for mRNA editing. All RNAs are produced by a phage-type RNA polymerase as 3′ extended precursors, which undergo exonucleolytic trimming. Most pre-mRNAs proceed through 3′ adenylation, uridine insertion/deletion editing, and 3′ A/U-tailing. The rRNAs and gRNAs are 3′ uridylated. Historically, RNA editing has attracted major research effort, and recently essential pre- and postediting processing events have been discovered. Here, we classify the key players that transform primary transcripts into mature molecules and regulate their function and turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-355
Number of pages19
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Aphasizheva lab is supported by NIH grant AI113157 . Aphasizhev lab is supported by NIH grants AI091914 and AI101057 . Cestari lab is supported by NSERC grants RGPIN-2019-04658 and DGECR-2019-00081 . Cruz-Reyes lab is supported by NSF grant 1616845 and TAMU X-grant and T3 award. Göringer lab is supported by German Research Council ( SPP1857 ). Lukeš, Yurchenko and Zíková labs are supported by the Czech Ministry of Education ( OPVVV16_019/0000759 ), ERC CZ LL1601 , and Czech Grant Agency grants 18-17529S and 18-15962S . Read lab is supported by NIH grants AI061580 , GM129041 , and AI139448 . Hajduk lab is supported by NIH grant AI125487 . Schnaufer lab is supported by MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship MR/L019701/1 . Schneider lab is supported by the NCCR grant "RNA & Disease" and by the grant 175563 from the Swiss National Science Foundation . Stuart lab is supported by NIH grant 5R01AI014102-43 . Zimmer lab is supported by NIH grant AI135885 .


  • kinetoplast
  • mitochondria
  • polyadenylation
  • RNA decay
  • RNA editing
  • Trypanosoma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

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


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