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J Biol Chem. 1989 Aug 15;264(23):13395-8.

Sequence requirements for apolipoprotein B RNA editing in transfected rat hepatoma cells.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Medicine, Medical Research Council, Harrow, Middlesex, United Kingdom.


Apolipoprotein (apo) B mRNA undergoes a novel tissue-specific editing reaction, which replaces a genomically templated cytidine with uridine. This substitution converts codon 2153 from glutamine (CAA) in apo B100 mRNA to a stop codon (UAA) in apoB48 mRNA (Powell, L. M., Wallis, S. C., Pease, R. J., Edwards, Y. H., Knott, T. J., and Scott, J. (1987) Cell 50, 831-840). To examine sequences in the human apoB mRNA required for the editing reaction, a series of deletion mutants around the cytidine conversion site was prepared and transfected into a rat hepatoma cell line (McArdle 7777). This cell makes both apoB100 and apoB48. Editing was detected by a primer extension assay on cDNA that had been amplified by the polymerase chain reaction. RNAs of between 2385 and 26 nucleotides spanning the conversion site underwent similar levels of conversion. Editing was confirmed by cloning and sequencing of cDNA corresponding to the transfected RNAs. Conversion did not occur in transfected human hepatoblastoma (HepG2) or epithelial carcinoma (HeLa) cell lines, which do not make apoB48. These results verify that apoB48 is generated by a genuine tissue-specific RNA editing reaction and show that 26 nucleotides of apoB mRNA are sufficient for editing.

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