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Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Oct;6(10):733-40. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.434. Epub 2010 Sep 12.

Inosine cyanoethylation identifies A-to-I RNA editing sites in the human transcriptome.

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Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a post-transcriptional processing event involved in diversifying the transcriptome responsible for various biological processes. Although bioinformatic approaches have predicted a number of A-to-I editing sites in cDNAs, the human transcriptome is thought to still harbor large numbers of as-yet-unknown editing sites. Exploring new editing sites requires a biochemical method to accurately identify inosines on RNA strands. We here describe a chemical method to identify inosines, called inosine chemical erasing (ICE), that is based on cyanoethylation combined with reverse transcription. We carried out a large-scale verification of the ICE method focusing on 642 regions in human cDNA and identified 5,072 editing sites, including 4,395 new sites. Functional study revealed that A-to-I intronic editing in the SARS gene mediated by ADAR1 is involved in preventing aberrant exonization of Alu sequence into mature mRNA.

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