APOBEC-1, which mediates the editing of apolipoprotein (apo) B mRNA, is the only known member of the C (cytidine)-->U (uridine) editing enzyme subfamily of the cytidine deaminase supergene family. Here we report the cloning of APOBEC-2, another member of the subfamily. Human and mouse APOBEC-2 both contain 224 amino acid residues, and their genes are mapped to syntenic regions of human chromosome 6 (6p21) and mouse chromosome 17. By phylogenetic analysis, APOBEC-2 is shown to be evolutionarily related to APOBEC-1, and analysis of substitution rates indicates that APOBEC-2 is a much better conserved gene than APOBEC-1. APOBEC-2 mRNA and protein are expressed exclusively in heart and skeletal muscle. APOBEC-2 does not display detectable apoB mRNA editing activity. Like other editing enzymes of the cytidine deaminase superfamily, APOBEC-2 has low, but definite, intrinsic cytidine deaminase activity. The identification of APOBEC-2 indicates that APOBEC-1 is not the only member of the C-->U editing enzyme subfamily, which, like the A (adenosine)-->I (inosine) subfamily of editing enzymes, must encompass at least two and possibly more different deaminase enzymes. It suggests that the C-->U editing affecting apoB mRNA and other RNAs is not an isolated event mediated by a single enzyme but involves multiple related proteins that have evolved from a primordial gene closely related to the housekeeping enzyme cytidine deaminase.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.