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A-to-I editing sites are a genomically encoded G: Implications for the evolutionary significance and identification of novel editing sites

By Nan Tian, Xiaojie Wu, Yaozhou Zhang and Yongfeng Jin


Ribonucleic acid (RNA) editing can extend transcriptomic and proteomic diversity by changing the identity of a particular codon. Genetic recoding as a result of adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing can alter highly conserved or invariant coding positions in proteins. Interestingly, examples exist in which A-to-I editing sites in one species are fixed genomically as a G in a closely related species. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that G-to-A mutations at the DNA level may be corrected by post-transcriptional A-to-I RNA editing, while in turn, the edited I (G) may be hardwired into the genome, resulting in an A-to-G mutation. We propose a model in which nuclear A-to-I RNA editing acts as an evolutionary intermediate of genetic variation. We not only provide information on the mechanism behind the evolutionary acquisition of an A-to-I RNA editing site but also demonstrate how to predict nuclear A-to-I editing sites by identifying positions where an RNA editing event would maintain the conservation of a protein relative to its homologs in other species. We identified a novel edited site in the fourth exon of the cacophony transcript coding calcium channel α1 and verified it experimentally

Topics: Letter to the Editor
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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