Modulation of MicroRNA Expression and Function by ADARs

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by preventing the translation of specific messenger RNAs. Adenosine deaminases acting on RNAs (ADARs) catalyze adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, the conversion of adenosines into inosines, in double-stranded RNAs. Because inosine preferentially base pairs with cytidine, this conversion is equivalent to an adenosine to guanosine change. Over the past seven years, an increasing number of edited adenosines have been identified in miRNAs. Editing of miRNAs affects their biogenesis, causes their degradation or alters the set of messenger RNAs that they regulate. Recently, ADARs have been shown to also affect the miRNA phenomenon by sequestering miRNAs or by editing the messenger RNAs they regulate. This article reviews the recent attempts to identify miRNA editing sites and elucidate the effects of ADARs on miRNA expression and function.

Abbreviations

A

Adenosine

I

Inosine

G

Guanosine

U

Uridine

C

Cytidine

UTR

Untranslated region

dsRNA

Double-stranded RNA

ADAR

Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA

miRNA

MicroRNA

pri-miRNA

Primary miRNA

pre-miRNA

Precursor miRNA

mRNA

Messenger RNA

pre-mRNA

Precursor messenger RNA

siRNA

Small interfering RNA

cDNA

Complementary DNA

Tudor-SN

Tudor staphylococcal nuclease

EBV

Epstein-Barr virus

DFFA

DNA fragmentation factor alpha

PRPS1

Phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetase 1

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Wistar InstitutePhiladelphiaUSA

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