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PLoS Genet. 2017 Nov 28;13(11):e1007064. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007064. eCollection 2017 Nov.

The evolution and adaptation of A-to-I RNA editing.

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Stanford University, Department of Genetics, Stanford, California, United States of America.
Stanford University, Biophysics Program, Stanford, California, United States of America.


Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is an important post-transcriptional modification that affects the information encoded from DNA to RNA to protein. RNA editing can generate a multitude of transcript isoforms and can potentially be used to optimize protein function in response to varying conditions. In light of this and the fact that millions of editing sites have been identified in many different species, it is interesting to examine the extent to which these sites have evolved to be functionally important. In this review, we discuss results pertaining to the evolution of RNA editing, specifically in humans, cephalopods, and Drosophila. We focus on how comparative genomics approaches have aided in the identification of sites that are likely to be advantageous. The use of RNA editing as a mechanism to adapt to varying environmental conditions will also be reviewed.

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