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The 20S editosome, a multiprotein complex, catalyzes the editing of most mitochondrial mRNAs in trypanosomatids by uridylate insertion and deletion. RNAi mediated inactivation of expression of KREPA4 (previously TbMP24), a component of the 20S editosome, in procyclic form Trypanosoma brucei resulted in inhibition of cell growth, loss of RNA editing, and disappearance of 20S editosomes. Levels of MRP1 and REAP-1 proteins, which may have roles in editing but are not editosome components, were unaffected. Tagged KREPA4 protein is incorporated into 20S editosomes in vivo with no preference for either insertion or deletion subcomplexes. Consistent with its S1-like motif, recombinant KREPA4 protein binds synthetic gRNA with a preference for the 3′ oligo (U) tail. These data suggest that KREPA4 is an RNA binding protein that may be specific for the gRNA Utail and also is important for 20S editosome stability. Copyright © 2006 RNA Society.


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