RNA editing describes a chemically diverse set of biomolecular reactions in which the nucleotide sequence of RNA molecules is altered. Editing reactions have been identified in many organisms and frequently contribute to the maturation of organellar transcripts. A special editing reaction has evolved within the mitochondria of the kinetoplastid protozoa. The process is characterized by the insertion and deletion of uridine nucleotides into otherwise nontranslatable messenger RNAs. Kinetoplastid RNA editing involves an exclusive class of small, noncoding RNAs known as guide RNAs. Furthermore, a unique molecular machinery, the editosome, catalyzes the process. Editosomes are megadalton multienzyme assemblies that provide a catalytic surface for the individual steps of the reaction cycle. Here I review the current mechanistic understanding and molecular inventory of kinetoplastid RNA editing and the editosome machinery. Special emphasis is placed on the molecular morphology of the editing complex in order to correlate structural features with functional characteristics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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