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EMBO J. 1996 Jan 2;15(1):34-45.

Editing of the GLuR-B ion channel RNA in vitro by recombinant double-stranded RNA adenosine deaminase.

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The Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-specific adenosine deaminase (DRADA) has been implicated as an enzyme responsible for the editing of RNA transcripts encoding glutamate-gated ion channel subunits (GLuR) in brain. In one case, the editing alters the gene-encoded glutamine (Q) to an arginine (R) located within the channel-forming domain of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit GLuR-B. The result of editing at this site, called the 'Q/R' site, is a profound alteration of the Ca2+ permeability of the GLuR channel. Using recombinantly expressed DRADA proteins, we now demonstrate in vitro that DRADA is indeed involved in editing of the GLuR-B RNA. In addition to the formation of an RNA duplex structure involving exon and intron sequences, Q/R site-selective editing by DRADA also requires a cofactor protein(s) commonly present even in non-neuronal cells. The accuracy and efficiency of this RNA editing system appear to be determined by the quantitative balance between DRADA, cofactor and substrate GLuR-B RNA.

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