RNA Editing


RNA editing is a form of RNA processing that can occur in either the nucleus, chloroplast or mitochondrion of cells and involves the co‐ or posttranscriptional modification of RNA from that encoded in DNA through nucleotide deletion, insertion or base‐modification mechanisms.

Keywords: amino acid sequence; evolution; organelles; RNA editing; RNA processing

Figure 1.

Models proposed for the mechanisms of different forms of RNA editing. A simplistic model is shown for only those forms of RNA editing that are best characterized. For each model, an example of the editing event is given to the left. Only the most basic parts of each editing mechanism are indicated, with the presumptive editing complex or editosome appearing in green, and the catalytic subunit (APOBEC‐1) indicated. The protein composition of the editosomes has in most cases not been fully characterized and is therefore only suggested by the green circle surrounding the editing site (for details see Tables and . The actual editing site is indicated by a bold arrowhead with the consequence given as ‘C/U’ (cytidine to uridine), ‘A/I’ (adenosine to inosine), ‘U’ (uridine insertion) and ‘G’ (guanidine insertion).


Further Reading

Bock R, Freyer AR, Fuchs FM, Zeltz RS and Maier (1997) Transcript editing in chloroplasts of higher plants. In: Schenk HEA, Herrmann R, Jeon KW, Müller NE and Schwemmler W (eds) Eukaryotism and Symbiosis. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Burns CM, Chu H and Rueter SM et al. (1997) Regulation of serotonin 2C receptor G‐protein coupling by RNA editing. Nature 387: 303–308.

Gesteland RF and Atkins JF (1999) The RNA World 2nd edn. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Landweber LF and Gilbert W (1994) Phylogenetic analysis of RNA editing – a primitive genetic phenomenon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 91: 918–921.

Price DH and Gray MW (1999) A novel nucleotide incorporation activity implicated in the editing of mitochondrial transfer RNAs in Acanthamoeba castellanii. RNA 5: 302–317.

Smith HC, Gott JM and Hanson MR (1997) A guide to RNA editing. RNA 3: 1105–1123.

Smith HC and Sowden MP (1996) Base modification RNA editing: the good, the bad and the unregulated. Trends in Genetics 12: 418–424.

Stuart K (1995) RNA editing: an overview, status report, and personal perspective. In: Boothroyd JG and Komuniechi R (eds) Molecular Approaches to Parasitology, pp. 243–254. New York: Wiley‐Liss.

Yamanaka S, Poksay KS, Arnold KS and Innerarity TL (1997) A novel translational repressor mRNA is edited extensively in livers containing tumors caused by the transgene expression of the apoB mRNA‐editing enzyme. Genes and Development 11: 321–333.

Yang Y, Yang Y and Smith HC (1997) Multiple protein domains determine the cell type‐specific nuclear distribution of the catalytic subunit required for apolipoprotein B mRNA editing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94: 13075–13080.

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How to Cite close
Sowden, Mark P, and Smith, Harold C(May 2005) RNA Editing. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000895]