Joint research results of Assistant Professor Kenji Okuda (Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering) are to be published in The Plant Journal, an academic journal in the field of plant science. Also, the research results were released in the online version on March 23rd.
The published thesis is entitled The E domains of pentatricopeptide repeat proteins from different organelles are not functionally equivalent for RNA editing.
RNA editing is a life phenomenon that rewrites genetic information in RNA. RNA editing takes place in a wide range of organisms from protozoa to human beings. In plants, there is a high frequency of RNA editing which modifies the C-base to U in subcellular organelle (chloroplast and mitochondria) which possess unique genomes. Recognition of certain C-bases for modification from among the infinite number of C existing within RNA is performed when the RNA binding protein known as pentatrico-peptide repeat (PPR) protein combines specifically to individual C-bases surrounding sequences. The majority of these PPR proteins possess E-domain in the C-terminus. E-domain is essential for RNA editing (thought to contribute to the attraction of RNA editing mechanisms).
Through genetic analysis and analysis using transformants, Assistant Professor Okuda’s research clarified that the function and sequential characteristics of the E-domain accompanying PPR proteins are different for plant chloroplast and mitochondria. Based on these results, it is hypothesized that the RNA editing mechanism attracted through E-domain differs between the two organelles. It is expected that these results will bring significant advances for full clarification of RNA editing mechanisms in plants, a theme which has remained a mystery for many years.
As part of the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists’ Young Overseas Joint Research Fellowship, these research results were performed in cooperation with the University of Western Australia.