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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2009 Sep-Oct;1(2):202-9. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.10.

Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing.

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  • 1The Wistar Institute, Gene Expression and Regulation, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. borisz@sas.upenn.edu


Ribonucleic acid (RNA) editing is a mechanism that generates RNA and protein diversity, which is not directly encoded in the genome. The most common type of RNA editing in vertebrates is the conversion of adenosine to inosine in double-stranded RNA which occurs in the higher eukaryotes. This editing is carried out by the family of adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) proteins. The most-studied substrates of ADAR proteins undergo editing which is very consistent, highly conserved, and functionally important. However, editing causes changes in protein-coding regions only at a small proportion of all editing sites. The vast majority of editing sites are in noncoding sequences. This includes microRNAs, as well as the introns and 3' untranslated regions of messenger RNAs, which play important roles in the RNA-mediated regulation of gene expression.

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