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Nature. 1999 May 6;399(6731):75-80.

Regulation of alternative splicing by RNA editing.

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Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-6600, USA.


The enzyme ADAR2 is a double-stranded RNA-specific adenosine deaminase which is involved in the editing of mammalian messenger RNAs by the site-specific conversion of adenosine to inosine. Here we identify several rat ADAR2 mRNAs produced as a result of two distinct alternative splicing events. One such splicing event uses a proximal 3' acceptor site, adding 47 nucleotides to the ADAR2 coding region, changing the predicted reading frame of the mature ADAR2 transcript. Nucleotide-sequence analysis of ADAR2 genomic DNA revealed the presence of adenosine-adenosine (AA) and adenosine-guanosine (AG) dinucleotides at these proximal and distal alternative 3' acceptor sites, respectively. Use of the proximal 3' acceptor depends upon the ability of ADAR2 to edit its own pre-mRNA, converting the intronic AA to an adenosine-inosine (AI) dinucleotide which effectively mimics the highly conserved AG sequence normally found at 3' splice junctions. Our observations indicate that RNA editing can serve as a mechanism for regulating alternative splicing and they suggest a novel strategy by which ADAR2 can modulate its own expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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