A porcine brain-wide RNA editing landscape

Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 10;4(1):717. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02238-3.


Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, catalyzed by ADAR enzymes, is an essential post-transcriptional modification. Although hundreds of thousands of RNA editing sites have been reported in mammals, brain-wide analysis of the RNA editing in the mammalian brain remains rare. Here, a genome-wide RNA-editing investigation is performed in 119 samples, representing 30 anatomically defined subregions in the pig brain. We identify a total of 682,037 A-to-I RNA editing sites of which 97% are not identified before. Within the pig brain, cerebellum and olfactory bulb are regions with most edited transcripts. The editing level of sites residing in protein-coding regions are similar across brain regions, whereas region-distinct editing is observed in repetitive sequences. Highly edited conserved recoding events in pig and human brain are found in neurotransmitter receptors, demonstrating the evolutionary importance of RNA editing in neurotransmission functions. Although potential data biases caused by age, sex or health status are not considered, this study provides a rich resource to better understand the evolutionary importance of post-transcriptional RNA editing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / genetics
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Inosine / genetics
  • Male
  • RNA Editing*
  • Swine / genetics*


  • Inosine
  • Adenosine