RNA editing by site-selective deamination of adenosine to inosine alters codons and splicing in nuclear transcripts, and therefore protein function. ADAR2 (refs 7, 8) is a candidate mammalian editing enzyme that is widely expressed in brain and other tissues, but its RNA substrates are unknown. Here we have studied ADAR2-mediated RNA editing by generating mice that are homozygous for a targeted functional null allele. Editing in ADAR2-/- mice was substantially reduced at most of 25 positions in diverse transcripts; the mutant mice became prone to seizures and died young. The impaired phenotype appeared to result entirely from a single underedited position, as it reverted to normal when both alleles for the underedited transcript were substituted with alleles encoding the edited version exonically. The critical position specifies an ion channel determinant, the Q/R site, in AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) receptor GluR-B pre-messenger RNA. We conclude that this transcript is the physiologically most important substrate of ADAR2.