ADAR-related activation of adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing during regeneration

Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Aug 15;22(16):2254-67. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0104. Epub 2013 May 3.


Urodele amphibians possess an amazing regenerative capacity that requires the activation of cellular plasticity in differentiated cells and progenitor/stem cells. Many aspects of regeneration in Urodele amphibians recapitulate development, making it unlikely that gene regulatory pathways which are essential for development are mutually exclusive from those necessary for regeneration. One such post-transcriptional gene regulatory pathway, which has been previously shown to be essential for functional metazoan development, is RNA editing. RNA editing catalyses discrete nucleotide changes in RNA transcripts, creating a molecular diversity that could create an enticing connection to the activated cellular plasticity found in newts during regeneration. To assess whether RNA editing occurs during regeneration, we demonstrated that GABRA3 and ADAR2 mRNA transcripts are edited in uninjured and regenerating tissues. Full open-reading frame sequences for ADAR1 and ADAR2, two enzymes responsible for adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing, were cloned from newt brain cDNA and exhibited a strong resemblance to ADAR (adenosine deaminase, RNA-specific) enzymes discovered in mammals. We demonstrated that ADAR1 and ADAR2 mRNA expression levels are differentially expressed during different phases of regeneration in multiple tissues, whereas protein expression levels remain unaltered. In addition, we have characterized a fascinating nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of ADAR1 in a variety of different cell types during regeneration, which could provide a mechanism for controlling RNA editing, without altering translational output of the editing enzyme. The link between RNA editing and regeneration provides further insights into how lower organisms, such as the newt, can activate essential molecular pathways via the discrete alteration of RNA sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Adenosine Deaminase / genetics*
  • Adenosine Deaminase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Extremities / injuries
  • Extremities / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Inosine / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Notophthalmus viridescens / genetics*
  • Notophthalmus viridescens / metabolism
  • RNA Editing*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, GABA-A / genetics
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Inosine
  • ADARB1 protein, human
  • Adenosine Deaminase
  • Adenosine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JX995368
  • GENBANK/JX995369