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Neuron. 2006 Mar 2;49(5):719-33.

ADAR2-dependent RNA editing of AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 determines vulnerability of neurons in forebrain ischemia.

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Biomolecular Science Center, College of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816, USA.


ADAR2 is a nuclear enzyme essential for GluR2 pre-mRNA editing at Q/R site-607, which gates Ca2+ entry through AMPA receptor channels. Here, we show that forebrain ischemia in adult rats selectively reduces expression of ADAR2 enzyme and, hence, disrupts RNA Q/R site editing of GluR2 subunit in vulnerable neurons. Recovery of GluR2 Q/R site editing by expression of exogenous ADAR2b gene or a constitutively active CREB, VP16-CREB, which induces expression of endogenous ADAR2, protects vulnerable neurons in the rat hippocampus from forebrain ischemic insult. Generation of a stable ADAR2 gene silencing by delivering small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibits GluR2 Q/R site editing, leading to degeneration of ischemia-insensitive neurons. Direct introduction of the Q/R site edited GluR2 gene, GluR2(R607), rescues ADAR2 degeneration. Thus, ADAR2-dependent GluR2 Q/R site editing determines vulnerability of neurons in the rat hippocampus to forebrain ischemia.

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