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Mutat Res. 2018 Jul;810:33-38. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2018.03.008. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

APOBEC and ADAR deaminases may cause many single nucleotide polymorphisms curated in the OMIM database.

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GMDxCo Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic, Australia; Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences, University of Melbourne Vic, Australia. Electronic address:
GMDxCo Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic, Australia.


Cytosine and adenosine deamination events (DNA, RNA substrates) account for most codon-context Targeted Somatic Mutation (TSM) patterns observed in immunoglobulin (Ig) somatic hypermutation (SHM), and in cancer exomes following Ig-SHM-like responses. TSM refers to the process of somatic mutagenesis involving deamination events that results on a dominant type of mutation (e.g., C-to-T), and co-incident at a particular motif (e.g., WRC), and preferentially targeting the first, second or third nucleotide position within the mutated codon (e.g. MC1, MC2 or MC3, read 5-prime to 3-prime). It is now widely accepted that if left uncorrected, the accumulation of uncorrected TSMs involving the deaminases, may lead to a diagnosis of cancer or other degenerative disease. Our hypothesis is that many missense, nonsense and synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with clinically significant diseases may have arisen in the population by similar highly targeted deamination events. The OMIM database was searched for disease-associated SNPs on the X chromosome, and for all chromosomes. The nucleotide substitution patterns for disease-associated SNPs were analyzed by the TSM method to identify the likely deaminase source for C-to-U (C-to-T/G-to-A) and A-to-I (A-to-G/T-to-C) derived gene mutations preferentially targeting known sequence motifs associated with the deaminases: AID, APOBEC3G, APOBEC3B and ADAR 1/2. Of the 789 OMIM SNPs analysed. In both data sets, the mutation targeting preferences within the mutated codon reveal a statistically significant bias (p < 0.001). The results imply that a deamination of C-site and A-site targets are written into the human germline for the chromosome wide exomic SNPs analysed. This is consistent with previously observed mutation patterns arising in cancer genomes and hypermutated Ig genes during SHM. The results imply that similar types of deaminase-mediated molecular processes that occur in somatic hypermutation and cancer, may be contributing causative drivers of human exomic SNPs.


ADAR deaminase A-to-I RNA and DNA editing; AID/APOBEC-deaminase patterns; Codon-context mutations; Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs); Targeted somatic mutation (TSM)

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