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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 30;14(12):1517-24. doi: 10.1038/nn.2950.

Modulation of dADAR-dependent RNA editing by the Drosophila fragile X mental retardation protein.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Loss of FMR1 gene function results in fragile X syndrome, the most common heritable form of intellectual disability. The protein encoded by this locus (FMRP) is an RNA-binding protein that is thought to primarily act as a translational regulator; however, recent studies have implicated FMRP in other mechanisms of gene regulation. We found that the Drosophila fragile X homolog (dFMR1) biochemically interacted with the adenosine-to-inosine RNA-editing enzyme dADAR. Adar and Fmr1 mutant larvae exhibited distinct morphological neuromuscular junction (NMJ) defects. Epistasis experiments based on these phenotypic differences revealed that Adar acts downstream of Fmr1 and that dFMR1 modulates dADAR activity. Furthermore, sequence analyses revealed that a loss or overexpression of dFMR1 affects editing efficiency on certain dADAR targets with defined roles in synaptic transmission. These results link dFMR1 with the RNA-editing pathway and suggest that proper NMJ synaptic architecture requires modulation of dADAR activity by dFMR1.

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