A-to-I RNA editing: the "ADAR" side of human cancer

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 May;23(3):244-50. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


Carcinogenesis is a complex, multi-stage process depending on both endogenous and exogenous factors. In the past years, DNA mutations provided important clues to the comprehension of the molecular pathways involved in numerous cancers. Recently, post-transcriptional modification events, such as RNA editing, are emerging as new players in several human diseases, including tumours. A-to-I RNA editing changes the nucleotide sequence of target RNAs, introducing A-to-I/G "mutations". Since ADAR enzymes catalyse this nucleotide conversion, their expression/activity is essential and finely regulated in normal cells. This review summarizes the available knowledge on A-to-I RNA editing in the cancer field, giving a new view on how ADARs may play a role in carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Deaminase / metabolism*
  • Biocatalysis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • RNA Editing*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins


  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • ADARB1 protein, human
  • Adenosine Deaminase