SL RNA Biogenesis in Kinetoplastids: A Long and Winding Road
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The spliced leader (SL) RNA is a defining element in the gene expression of kinetoplastids. The first 39 nt of this small RNA are trans-spliced onto every nuclear message, providing a unique hypermethylated cap and sequence elements required for stability and translation. Transcribed from a large tandem array, the journey that each primary SL transcript takes en route to splicing is marked by molecular modifications. Methylation, pseudouridylation, and 3′-end nuclease processing contribute to the mature product. The consequences of this elaborate pathway are not understood fully, but may reveal distinctions that will make these oft-parasitic organisms yield their foothold in the vertebrate host.
KeywordsStem Loop Splice Leader Premature Export General Splice Factor Cytosolic Trafficking
This work was funded by NIH award AI056034 to DAC and NRS; JRZ was supported by USPHS National Research Service Award GM07104.
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