A tripartite motif located in the centre of the 7.5kb exon 26 of apolipoprotein B (apoB) mRNA directs editosome assembly and site-specific cytidine-to-uridine editing at nucleotide 6666. apoB mRNA editing is a post-transcriptional event, occurring primarily at the time exon 26 is spliced or at a time after splicing, but before nuclear export. We show, through reporter RNA constructs, that RNA splice sites suppress editing of precursor RNAs when placed proximal or distal to the editing site. Processed RNAs were edited more efficiently than precursor RNAs. Mutation of both the splice donor and acceptor sites was necessary for RNAs to be edited efficiently. The results suggested that commitment of pre-mRNA to the splicing and/or nuclear-export pathways may play a role in regulating editing-site utilization. The HIV-1 Rev–Rev response element (‘RRE’) interaction was utilized to uncouple the commitment of precursor RNAs to the spliceosome assembly pathway and associated nuclear-export pathway. Under these conditions, unspliced reporter RNAs were edited efficiently. We propose that pre-mRNA passage through the temporal or spatial restriction point where they become committed to spliceosome assembly contributes regulatory information for subsequent editosome activity.

Abbreviations used: apoB, apolipoprotein B; APOBEC-1, catalytic subunit for cytidine-to-uridine editing of apoB mRNA-1; ACF, APOBEC-1 complementation factor; ADAR, adenosine deaminase active on RNA; ASP, APOBEC-1 stimulatory protein; β-gal, β-galactosidase; CAT, chloramphenicol acetyltransferase; dd, dideoxy; GluR, glutamate receptor; hnRNP, heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein; IVS, intervening sequence; KSRP, KH type splicing regulatory protein; RRE, Rev response element; RT-PCR, reverse-transcription PCR.

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