Accumulation of nuclear ADAR2 regulates adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing during neuronal development

J Cell Sci. 2017 Feb 15;130(4):745-753. doi: 10.1242/jcs.200055. Epub 2017 Jan 12.


Adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is important for a functional brain, and most known sites that are subject to selective RNA editing have been found to result in diversified protein isoforms that are involved in neurotransmission. In the absence of the active editing enzymes ADAR1 or ADAR2 (also known as ADAR and ADARB1, respectively), mice fail to survive until adulthood. Nuclear A-to-I editing of neuronal transcripts is regulated during brain development, with low levels of editing in the embryo and a dramatic increase after birth. Yet, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate editing during development. Here, we demonstrate lower levels of ADAR2 in the nucleus of immature neurons than in mature neurons. We show that importin-α4 (encoded by Kpna3), which increases during neuronal maturation, interacts with ADAR2 and contributes to the editing efficiency by bringing it into the nucleus. Moreover, we detect an increased number of interactions between ADAR2 and the nuclear isomerase Pin1 as neurons mature, which contribute to ADAR2 protein stability. Together, these findings explain how the nuclear editing of substrates that are important for neuronal function can increase as the brain develops.

Keywords: A-to-I RNA editing; ADAR2; Importin-α4; Pin1.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Deaminase / chemistry
  • Adenosine Deaminase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inosine / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • NIMA-Interacting Peptidylprolyl Isomerase / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Localization Signals / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Editing*
  • Rats
  • alpha Karyopherins


  • NIMA-Interacting Peptidylprolyl Isomerase
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • alpha Karyopherins
  • importin alpha4, mouse
  • Inosine
  • Adarb1 protein, rat
  • Adenosine Deaminase
  • Pin1 protein, mouse
  • Adenosine