ADARs and the Balance Game between Virus Infection and Innate Immune Cell Response

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2015;17:37-51. Epub 2014 Dec 11.


All viruses that have dsRNA structures at any stages of their life cycle may potentially undergo RNA editing events mediated by the ADAR enzymes. Indeed, an increasing number of studies that describe A-to-I sequence changes in viral genomes and/or transcripts, consistent with ADAR deaminase activity, are reported. These modifications can appear either as hyperediting during persistent viral infections or as specific RNA editing events in viral dsRNAs. It is now well established that ADAR enzymes can affect viruses and viral interaction with the host cell in both an editing-dependent and -independent manner, with ADARs acting as pro- or anti-viral factors. Despite the discovery of editing events on viral RNAs dates back to thirty years ago, the biological consequences of A-to-I changes during viral infection is still far to be completely elucidated. In this review, past and recent studies on the importance of ADAR enzymes on several viruses will be examined.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Deaminase / genetics
  • Adenosine Deaminase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • RNA Editing*
  • RNA Viruses / genetics*
  • RNA Viruses / immunology*
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Virus Diseases / etiology*
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*


  • RNA, Viral
  • Adenosine Deaminase