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J Biol Chem. 1990 Nov 25;265(33):20616-20.

Apolipoprotein B messenger RNA editing is developmentally regulated and widely expressed in human tissues.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


Apolipoprotein B (apoB) messenger RNA (mRNA) undergoes posttranscriptional (C to U) editing, producing tissue-specific forms of apoB from the unedited (apoB100) and edited (apoB48) transcripts. ApoB mRNA editing is developmentally regulated in human fetal small intestine, producing parallel changes in the synthesis and secretion of apoB100 and apoB48. Neither fetal nor adult liver contained detectable levels (less than 1%) of edited apoB mRNA. By contrast, apoB mRNA is incrementally edited during development in several extraintestinal fetal tissues. These tissues demonstrated significant differences, however, in both the extent and developmental profile of apoB mRNA editing. Additionally, while apoB100 synthesis and secretion was demonstrated in these tissues, apoB48 synthesis was confined to the small intestine. Thus, although the molecular mechanism underlying this process remains unclear, the capacity to edit apoB mRNA is widely distributed among both fetal and adult tissues. We speculate that the asynchronous and developmentally modulated induction of apoB mRNA editing may provide a novel mechanism for regulating lipoprotein biogenesis in both the developing fetus and adult human.

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