Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Guide RNA

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_1344-2

Guide RNAs (gRNAs) are small RNA molecules that are encoded in the mitochondrial DNA of kinetoplastid flagellates. These 50–60 nucleotide short gRNAs have a template-like function during the RNA editing process and specify the site and number of uridylate residue (U) additions to and occasional deletions from precursor mRNA. gRNA sequences have been identified in several different kinetoplastids, whose total number varies greatly between species and even between different strains of the same species. The minicircle kDNA contains the majority of the gRNA genes that are localized at specific sites within the variable region and are produced from large precursors by nucleolytic processing and 3′ uridylation. In Trypanosoma brucei, each minicircle can encode 3–5 gRNAs, whereas Leishmania tarantolae contains only a single gRNA per minicircle, reflecting less extensive editing as compared to the former species. The maxicirclekDNA also contains a small number of gRNA genes in addition to...


Trypanosoma Brucei Editing Process Large Precursor Precursor mRNA Extensive Editing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany