Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing in neurological development and disease

RNA Biol. 2021 Jul;18(7):999-1013. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2020.1867797. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing is one of the most prevalent post-transcriptional RNA modifications in metazoan. This reaction is catalysed by enzymes called adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs). RNA editing is involved in the regulation of protein function and gene expression. The numerous A-to-I editing sites have been identified in both coding and non-coding RNA transcripts. These editing sites are also found in various genes expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and play an important role in neurological development and brain function. Aberrant regulation of RNA editing has been associated with the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric disorders, suggesting the physiological significance of RNA editing in the CNS. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of editing on neurological disease and development.

Keywords: 5-HT2CR; A-to-I RNA editing; ADAR; AGS; ALS; GluA2; Post-transcriptional RNA modification; bipolar disorder; depression; epilepsy; miRNA; schizophrenia; viral RNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / genetics
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology
  • Astrocytoma / genetics*
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism
  • Bipolar Disorder / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology
  • Epilepsy / genetics*
  • Epilepsy / metabolism
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inosine / genetics
  • Inosine / metabolism
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel / genetics
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • RNA Editing*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C / genetics
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C / metabolism
  • Receptors, AMPA / genetics
  • Receptors, AMPA / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / pathology
  • Spasms, Infantile / genetics*
  • Spasms, Infantile / metabolism
  • Spasms, Infantile / pathology


  • KCNA1 protein, human
  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • MIRN221 microRNA, human
  • MIRN222 microRNA, human
  • MIRN376C microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2C
  • Receptors, AMPA
  • Kv1.1 Potassium Channel
  • Inosine
  • Adenosine
  • glutamate receptor ionotropic, AMPA 2

Supplementary concepts

  • Infantile Epileptic-Dyskinetic Encephalopathy

Grant support

This work was supported by the following grants: JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP18H06054 JP19H03159 JP19K16037, MSD Life Science Foundation, The Uehara Memorial Foundation, The Takeda Science Foundation, The Senri Life Science Foundation, THE KATO MEMORIAL TRUST FOR NAMBYO RESEARCH, Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund, Japan Intractable Diseases Research Foundation, and The Tokyo Biochemical Research Foundation.