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RNA. 2008 Aug;14(8):1516-25. doi: 10.1261/rna.1063708. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

A-to-I RNA editing alters less-conserved residues of highly conserved coding regions: implications for dual functions in evolution.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, ZJ310058, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

The molecular mechanism and physiological function of recoding by A-to-I RNA editing is well known, but its evolutionary significance remains a mystery. We analyzed the RNA editing of the Kv2 K(+) channel from different insects spanning more than 300 million years of evolution: Drosophila melanogaster, Culex pipiens (Diptera), Pulex irritans (Siphonaptera), Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera), Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera), Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera), Pediculus humanus (Phthiraptera), and Myzus persicae (Homoptera). RNA editing was detected across all Kv2 orthologs, representing the most highly conserved RNA editing event yet reported in invertebrates. Surprisingly, five of these editing sites were conserved in squid (Mollusca) and were possibly of independent origin, suggesting phylogenetic conservation of editing between mollusks and insects. Based on this result, we predicted and experimentally verified two novel A-to-I editing sites in squid synaptotagmin I transcript. In addition, comparative analysis indicated that RNA editing usually occurred within highly conserved coding regions, but mostly altered less-conserved coding positions of these regions. Moreover, more than half of these edited amino acids are genomically encoded in the orthologs of other species; an example of a conversion model of the nonconservative edited site is addressed. Therefore, these data imply that RNA editing might play dual roles in evolution by extending protein diversity and maintaining phylogenetic conservation.

PMID:
18567816
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2491475
Free PMC Article

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