N other organelle trans-splicing systems [1]. There is also no evidence of

N other organelle trans-Hesperidin manufacturer splicing systems [1]. There is also no evidence of likely RNA helix formation between the cox3H1-6 39 end, and the cox3H7 59 end, that could potentially mediate bulge-helix-bulge splicing as seen in some archaeal tRNAs [16]. This absence of any putative self-splicing components suggests that splicing is directed by some additional guide molecule or complex. Such a guide must: 1) identify the two component molecules (cox3H1-6 and cox3H7); 2) define the correct length of final spliced 25033180 product, allowing sufficient A nucleotides from the oligoadenylated tail to close any gap; and 3) direct the splicing reaction onto the 59 end of cox3H7. Such a guide could consist of a protein (or proteins), or could be a further RNA molecule similar to RNA guides employed in editing of trypanosomatid mitochondria RNAs [37]. Extensive searching for evidence of any putative RNAs with limited complementarity to both cox3 precursors has failed to detect any candidates. A lack of conservation seen across taxa of either the position of oligoadenylation of cox3H1-6, or the sequence identity of the two ends to be joined, suggests that the guide molecule is tolerant of change in this region, and might interact with sequence regions more distal to the splice site (Fig. 3). The only conserved nucleotide within the immediate splicing region is a uracil found at the 59 splice site of cox3H7 in all four taxa surveyed, and this nucleotide may reflect a conserved feature of the splicing reaction. A consequence of the trans-splicing mechanism in dinoflagellate cox3, and the inclusion of part of the cox3H1-6 oligoadenosine tail in the spliced product, is that a variable number of A nucleotides occur at the join region. This results in one or more lysines (codon: AAA) encoded in the complete transcript (Fig. 1C). In a poly-topic membrane protein inclusion of charged residues might be expected to cause problems for membrane topology, with potential implications for protein function. However, the location of the splice site in cox3 is between the coding regions of two membrane helices, and presumably these charged residues (and variability in protein sequence) are tolerated at this site. Overall, these new insights into trans-splicing of dinoflagellate mitochondrial cox3 show that it is an unusual process on multiple scores. Unlike discontinuous group I/II intron mediated transsplicing, there is no evidence for the precursor Mirin chemical information transcripts directly contributing to the process of splicing. Thus evolution of this transsplicing process is more likely to have developed by the introduction of a splicing capability into these mitochondria, rather than gradual corruption of an existing splicing functionFigure 3. Model of cox3 trans-splicing mechanism. Putative splicing mechanism employing a guide molecule that unites the two cox3 precursor transcripts, and determines the length of the final splice product by inclusion of the necessary number of A nucleotides from the oligoadenylated tail of cox3H1-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056777.gsuch as organelle intron removal. Deep-branching dinoflagellates (e.g. Oxyrrhis and Hematodinium sp.) lack trans-splicing, although they share the same very reduced set of mitochondrial genes, so there is no evidence of existing splicing capacity in mitochondria early in this lineage [23,24]. Also unusual is that the splicing process in dinoflagellate mitochondria is imperfect. It does not always produce a seamless join between two c.N other organelle trans-splicing systems [1]. There is also no evidence of likely RNA helix formation between the cox3H1-6 39 end, and the cox3H7 59 end, that could potentially mediate bulge-helix-bulge splicing as seen in some archaeal tRNAs [16]. This absence of any putative self-splicing components suggests that splicing is directed by some additional guide molecule or complex. Such a guide must: 1) identify the two component molecules (cox3H1-6 and cox3H7); 2) define the correct length of final spliced 25033180 product, allowing sufficient A nucleotides from the oligoadenylated tail to close any gap; and 3) direct the splicing reaction onto the 59 end of cox3H7. Such a guide could consist of a protein (or proteins), or could be a further RNA molecule similar to RNA guides employed in editing of trypanosomatid mitochondria RNAs [37]. Extensive searching for evidence of any putative RNAs with limited complementarity to both cox3 precursors has failed to detect any candidates. A lack of conservation seen across taxa of either the position of oligoadenylation of cox3H1-6, or the sequence identity of the two ends to be joined, suggests that the guide molecule is tolerant of change in this region, and might interact with sequence regions more distal to the splice site (Fig. 3). The only conserved nucleotide within the immediate splicing region is a uracil found at the 59 splice site of cox3H7 in all four taxa surveyed, and this nucleotide may reflect a conserved feature of the splicing reaction. A consequence of the trans-splicing mechanism in dinoflagellate cox3, and the inclusion of part of the cox3H1-6 oligoadenosine tail in the spliced product, is that a variable number of A nucleotides occur at the join region. This results in one or more lysines (codon: AAA) encoded in the complete transcript (Fig. 1C). In a poly-topic membrane protein inclusion of charged residues might be expected to cause problems for membrane topology, with potential implications for protein function. However, the location of the splice site in cox3 is between the coding regions of two membrane helices, and presumably these charged residues (and variability in protein sequence) are tolerated at this site. Overall, these new insights into trans-splicing of dinoflagellate mitochondrial cox3 show that it is an unusual process on multiple scores. Unlike discontinuous group I/II intron mediated transsplicing, there is no evidence for the precursor transcripts directly contributing to the process of splicing. Thus evolution of this transsplicing process is more likely to have developed by the introduction of a splicing capability into these mitochondria, rather than gradual corruption of an existing splicing functionFigure 3. Model of cox3 trans-splicing mechanism. Putative splicing mechanism employing a guide molecule that unites the two cox3 precursor transcripts, and determines the length of the final splice product by inclusion of the necessary number of A nucleotides from the oligoadenylated tail of cox3H1-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056777.gsuch as organelle intron removal. Deep-branching dinoflagellates (e.g. Oxyrrhis and Hematodinium sp.) lack trans-splicing, although they share the same very reduced set of mitochondrial genes, so there is no evidence of existing splicing capacity in mitochondria early in this lineage [23,24]. Also unusual is that the splicing process in dinoflagellate mitochondria is imperfect. It does not always produce a seamless join between two c.