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Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Mar 1;23(5):443-56. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0206. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

ADAR1 is involved in the regulation of reprogramming human fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells.

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1 Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Sohnis and Forman Families Center for Stem Cell and Tissue Regeneration Research , Technion, Haifa, Israel .


Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a post-transcriptional, site-specific modification process that is catalyzed by Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA (ADAR) gene family members. Since ADARs act on double-stranded RNA, most A-to-I editing occurs within repetitive elements, particularly Alu elements, as the result of the inherent property of these sequences to fold and form double strands. ADAR1-mediated A-to-I RNA editing was recently implicated in the regulation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Spontaneous and neuronal differentiation of hESC was shown to result in a decrease in A-to-I editing levels. Knockdown of ADAR1 in hESCs results in an elevation of the expression of differentiation-related genes. In addition, we found that hESCs over-expressing ADAR1 could not be generated. The current study shows that the editing levels of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) change throughout reprogramming, from a source cell level to a level similar to that of hESCs. Up- or down-regulation of the ADAR1 level in human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells before induction of reprogramming results in varied reprogramming efficiencies. Furthermore, HFF-iPSC early clones derived from source cells in which the ADAR1 level was down-regulated lose their iPSC properties shortly after iPSC colony formation and instead exhibit characteristics of cancer cells. Taken together, our results imply a role for ADAR1 in the regulation of pluripotency induction as well as in the maintenance of early iPSC properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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