Gene Summary

Gene:ADARB1; adenosine deaminase RNA specific B1
Aliases: RED1, ADAR2, DRABA2, DRADA2
Summary:This gene encodes the enzyme responsible for pre-mRNA editing of the glutamate receptor subunit B by site-specific deamination of adenosines. Studies in rat found that this enzyme acted on its own pre-mRNA molecules to convert an AA dinucleotide to an AI dinucleotide which resulted in a new splice site. Alternative splicing of this gene results in several transcript variants, some of which have been characterized by the presence or absence of an ALU cassette insert and a short or long C-terminal region. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:double-stranded RNA-specific editase 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 29 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 29 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ADARB1 (cancer-related)

Fritzell K, Xu LD, Otrocka M, et al.
Sensitive ADAR editing reporter in cancer cells enables high-throughput screening of small molecule libraries.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2019; 47(4):e22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adenosine to inosine editing is common in the human transcriptome and changes of this essential activity is associated with disease. Children with ADAR1 mutations develop fatal Aicardi-Goutières syndrome characterized by aberrant interferon expression. In contrast, ADAR1 overexpression is associated with increased malignancy of breast, lung and liver cancer. ADAR1 silencing in breast cancer cells leads to increased apoptosis, suggesting an anti-apoptotic function that promotes cancer progression. Yet, suitable high-throughput editing assays are needed to efficiently screen chemical libraries for modifiers of ADAR1 activity. We describe the development of a bioluminescent reporter system that facilitates rapid and accurate determination of endogenous editing activity. The system is based on the highly sensitive and quantitative Nanoluciferase that is conditionally expressed upon reporter-transcript editing. Stably introduced into cancer cell lines, the system reports on elevated endogenous ADAR1 editing activity induced by interferon as well as knockdown of ADAR1 and ADAR2. In a single-well setup we used the reporter in HeLa cells to screen a small molecule library of 33 000 compounds. This yielded a primary hit rate of 0.9% at 70% inhibition of editing. Thus, we provide a key tool for high-throughput identification of modifiers of A-to-I editing activity in cancer cells.

Chen YT, Chang IY, Liu H, et al.
Tumor-associated intronic editing of
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(26):10158-10171 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Processing of the eukaryotic transcriptome is a dynamic regulatory mechanism that confers genetic diversity, and splicing and adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing are well-characterized examples of such processing. Growing evidence reveals the cross-talk between the splicing and RNA editing, but there is a paucity of substantial evidence for its mechanistic details and contribution in a physiological context. Here, our findings demonstrate that tumor-associated differential RNA editing, in conjunction with splicing machinery, regulates the expression of variants of

Mingardi J, Musazzi L, De Petro G, Barbon A
miRNA Editing: New Insights into the Fast Control of Gene Expression in Health and Disease.
Mol Neurobiol. 2018; 55(10):7717-7727 [PubMed] Related Publications
Post-transcriptional modifications are essential mechanisms for mRNA biogenesis and function in eukaryotic cells. Beyond well-characterized events such as splicing, capping, and polyadenylation, there are several others, as RNA editing mechanisms and regulation of transcription mediated by miRNAs that are taking increasing attention in the last years. RNA editing through A-to-I deamination increases transcriptomic complexity, generating different proteins with amino acid substitution from the same transcript. On the other hand, miRNAs can regulate gene expression modulating target mRNA decay and translation. Interestingly, recent studies highlight the possibility that miRNAs might undergo editing themselves. This mainly translates in the degradation or uncorrected maturation of miRNAs but also in the recognition of different targets. The presence of edited and unedited forms of the same miRNA may have important biological implications in both health and disease. Here we review ongoing investigations on miRNA RNA editing with the aim to shed light on the growing importance of this mechanism in adding complexity to post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression.

Cesarini V, Silvestris DA, Tassinari V, et al.
ADAR2/miR-589-3p axis controls glioblastoma cell migration/invasion.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2018; 46(4):2045-2059 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent studies have reported the emerging role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in human cancers. We systematically characterized miRNA expression and editing in the human brain, which displays the highest number of A-to-I RNA editing sites among human tissues, and in de novo glioblastoma brain cancer. We identified 299 miRNAs altered in their expression and 24 miRNAs differently edited in human brain compared to glioblastoma tissues. We focused on the editing site within the miR-589-3p seed. MiR-589-3p is a unique miRNA almost fully edited (∼100%) in normal brain and with a consistent editing decrease in glioblastoma. The edited version of miR-589-3p inhibits glioblastoma cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while the unedited version boosts cell proliferation and motility/invasion, thus being a potential cancer-promoting factor. We demonstrated that the editing of this miRNA is mediated by ADAR2, and retargets miR-589-3p from the tumor-suppressor PCDH9 to ADAM12, which codes for the metalloproteinase 12 promoting glioblastoma invasion. Overall, our study dissects the role of a unique brain-specific editing site within miR-589-3p, with important anticancer features, and highlights the importance of RNA editing as an essential player not only for diversifying the genomic message but also for correcting not-tolerable/critical genomic coding sites.

Fritzell K, Xu LD, Lagergren J, Öhman M
ADARs and editing: The role of A-to-I RNA modification in cancer progression.
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018; 79:123-130 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer arises when pathways that control cell functions such as proliferation and migration are dysregulated to such an extent that cells start to divide uncontrollably and eventually spread throughout the body, ultimately endangering the survival of an affected individual. It is well established that somatic mutations are important in cancer initiation and progression as well as in creation of tumor diversity. Now also modifications of the transcriptome are emerging as a significant force during the transition from normal cell to malignant tumor. Editing of adenosine (A) to inosine (I) in double-stranded RNA, catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs), is one dynamic modification that in a combinatorial manner can give rise to a very diverse transcriptome. Since the cell interprets inosine as guanosine (G), editing can result in non-synonymous codon changes in transcripts as well as yield alternative splicing, but also affect targeting and disrupt maturation of microRNA. ADAR editing is essential for survival in mammals but its dysregulation can lead to cancer. ADAR1 is for instance overexpressed in, e.g., lung cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer and chronic myoelogenous leukemia, which with few exceptions promotes cancer progression. In contrast, ADAR2 is lowly expressed in e.g. glioblastoma, where the lower levels of ADAR2 editing leads to malignant phenotypes. Altogether, RNA editing by the ADAR enzymes is a powerful regulatory mechanism during tumorigenesis. Depending on the cell type, cancer progression seems to mainly be induced by ADAR1 upregulation or ADAR2 downregulation, although in a few cases ADAR1 is instead downregulated. In this review, we discuss how aberrant editing of specific substrates contributes to malignancy.

Qi L, Song Y, Chan THM, et al.
An RNA editing/dsRNA binding-independent gene regulatory mechanism of ADARs and its clinical implication in cancer.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2017; 45(18):10436-10451 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, catalyzed by Adenosine DeAminases acting on double-stranded RNA(dsRNA) (ADAR), occurs predominantly in the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of spliced mRNA. Here we uncover an unanticipated link between ADARs (ADAR1 and ADAR2) and the expression of target genes undergoing extensive 3'UTR editing. Using METTL7A (Methyltransferase Like 7A), a novel tumor suppressor gene with multiple editing sites at its 3'UTR, we demonstrate that its expression could be repressed by ADARs beyond their RNA editing and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding functions. ADARs interact with Dicer to augment the processing of pre-miR-27a to mature miR-27a. Consequently, mature miR-27a targets the METTL7A 3'UTR to repress its expression level. In sum, our study unveils that the extensive 3'UTR editing of METTL7A is merely a footprint of ADAR binding, and there are a subset of target genes that are equivalently regulated by ADAR1 and ADAR2 through their non-canonical RNA editing and dsRNA binding-independent functions, albeit maybe less common. The functional significance of ADARs is much more diverse than previously appreciated and this gene regulatory function of ADARs is most likely to be of high biological importance beyond the best-studied editing function. This non-editing side of ADARs opens another door to target cancer.

Altadill T, Dowdy TM, Gill K, et al.
Metabolomic and Lipidomic Profiling Identifies The Role of the RNA Editing Pathway in Endometrial Carcinogenesis.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):8803 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) remains the most common malignancy of the genital tract among women in developed countries. Although much research has been performed at genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic level, there is still a significant gap in the metabolomic studies of EC. In order to gain insights into altered metabolic pathways in the onset and progression of EC carcinogenesis, we used high resolution mass spectrometry to characterize the metabolomic and lipidomic profile of 39 human EC and 17 healthy endometrial tissue samples. Several pathways including lipids, Kynurenine pathway, endocannabinoids signaling pathway and the RNA editing pathway were found to be dysregulated in EC. The dysregulation of the RNA editing pathway was further investigated in an independent set of 183 human EC tissues and matched controls, using orthogonal approaches. We found that ADAR2 is overexpressed in EC and that the increase in expression positively correlates with the aggressiveness of the tumor. Furthermore, silencing of ADAR2 in three EC cell lines resulted in a decreased proliferation rate, increased apoptosis, and reduced migration capabilities in vitro. Taken together, our results suggest that ADAR2 functions as an oncogene in endometrial carcinogenesis and could be a potential target for improving EC treatment strategies.

Paul D, Sinha AN, Ray A, et al.
A-to-I editing in human miRNAs is enriched in seed sequence, influenced by sequence contexts and significantly hypoedited in glioblastoma multiforme.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):2466 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Editing in microRNAs, particularly in seed can significantly alter the choice of their target genes. We show that out of 13 different human tissues, different regions of brain showed higher adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) editing in mature miRNAs. These events were enriched in seed sequence (73.33%), which was not observed for cytosine to uracil (17.86%) editing. More than half of the edited miRNAs showed increased stability, 72.7% of which had ΔΔG values less than -6.0 Kcal/mole and for all of them the edited adenosines mis-paired with cytosines on the pre-miRNA structure. A seed-editing event in hsa-miR-411 (with A - C mismatch) lead to increased expression of the mature form compared to the unedited version in cell culture experiments. Further, small RNA sequencing of GBM patients identified significant miRNA hypoediting which correlated with downregulation of ADAR2 both in metadata and qRT-PCR based validation. Twenty-two significant (11 novel) A-to-I hypoediting events were identified in GBM samples. This study highlights the importance of specific sequence and structural requirements of pre-miRNA for editing along with a suggestive crucial role for ADAR2. Enrichment of A-to-I editing in seed sequence highlights this as an important layer for genomic regulation in health and disease, especially in human brain.

Fu L, Qin YR, Ming XY, et al.
RNA editing of
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017; 114(23):E4631-E4640 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Like many complex human diseases, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is known to cluster in families. Familial ESCC cases often show early onset and worse prognosis than the sporadic cases. However, the molecular genetic basis underlying the development of familial ESCC is mostly unknown. We reported that

Rossetti C, Picardi E, Ye M, et al.
RNA editing signature during myeloid leukemia cell differentiation.
Leukemia. 2017; 31(12):2824-2832 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) are key proteins for hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and for survival of differentiating progenitor cells. However, their specific role in myeloid cell maturation has been poorly investigated. Here we show that ADAR1 is present at basal level in the primary myeloid leukemia cells obtained from patients at diagnosis as well as in myeloid U-937 and THP1 cell lines and its expression correlates with the editing levels. Upon phorbol-myristate acetate or Vitamin D3/granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-driven differentiation, both ADAR1 and ADAR2 enzymes are upregulated, with a concomitant global increase of A-to-I RNA editing. ADAR1 silencing caused an editing decrease at specific ADAR1 target genes, without, however, interfering with cell differentiation or with ADAR2 activity. Remarkably, ADAR2 is absent in the undifferentiated cell stage, due to its elimination through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, being strongly upregulated at the end of the differentiation process. Of note, peripheral blood monocytes display editing events at the selected targets similar to those found in differentiated cell lines. Taken together, the data indicate that ADAR enzymes play important and distinct roles in myeloid cells.

Oakes E, Anderson A, Cohen-Gadol A, Hundley HA
Adenosine Deaminase That Acts on RNA 3 (ADAR3) Binding to Glutamate Receptor Subunit B Pre-mRNA Inhibits RNA Editing in Glioblastoma.
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(10):4326-4335 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA editing is a cellular process that precisely alters nucleotide sequences, thus regulating gene expression and generating protein diversity. Over 60% of human transcripts undergo adenosine to inosine RNA editing, and editing is required for normal development and proper neuronal function of animals. Editing of one adenosine in the transcript encoding the glutamate receptor subunit B, glutamate receptor ionotropic AMPA 2 (GRIA2), modifies a codon, replacing the genomically encoded glutamine (Q) with arginine (R); thus this editing site is referred to as the Q/R site. Editing at the Q/R site of

Chen YB, Liao XY, Zhang JB, et al.
ADAR2 functions as a tumor suppressor via editing IGFBP7 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 50(2):622-630 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), one of the most aggressive cancers, is characterized by heterogeneous genetic and epigenetic changes. Recently, A-to-I RNA editing, catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs), was found to be aberrantly regulated during tumorigenesis. We previously reported that ADAR2 was downregulated in ESCC but its role was unclear. Thus, we report here that overexpression of ADAR2 can induce apoptosis in ESCC cell lines and inhibit tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. ADAR2 knockdown inhibited apoptosis in ADAR2 highly expressing tumor cells. RNA-seq assay showed that ADAR2, not ADAR1 or active-site-mutated ADAR2, could edit insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) mRNA in ESCC. IGFBP7 knockdown or ADAR2 catalytic activity destruction abolished the pro-apoptotic function of ADAR2. Mechanistically, RNA editing may stabilize IGFBP7 protein by changing the protease recognition site of matriptase and this is essential for IGFBP7 to induce apoptosis. Western blotting revealed that ADAR2 overexpression could induce IGFBP7-dependent inhibition of Akt signaling. Thus, our data indicate that ADAR2 suppresses tumor growth and induces apoptosis by editing and stabilizing IGFBP7 in ESCC, and this may represent a novel therapeutic target for treating ESCC.

Permuth JB, Reid B, Earp M, et al.
Inherited variants affecting RNA editing may contribute to ovarian cancer susceptibility: results from a large-scale collaboration.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(45):72381-72394 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RNA editing in mammals is a form of post-transcriptional modification in which adenosine is converted to inosine by the adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR) family of enzymes. Based on evidence of altered ADAR expression in epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC), we hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ADAR genes modify EOC susceptibility, potentially by altering ovarian tissue gene expression. Using directly genotyped and imputed data from 10,891 invasive EOC cases and 21,693 controls, we evaluated the associations of 5,303 SNPs in ADAD1, ADAR, ADAR2, ADAR3, and SND1. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), with adjustment for European ancestry. We conducted gene-level analyses using the Admixture Maximum Likelihood (AML) test and the Sequence-Kernel Association test for common and rare variants (SKAT-CR). Association analysis revealed top risk-associated SNP rs77027562 (OR (95% CI)= 1.39 (1.17-1.64), P=1.0x10-4) in ADAR3 and rs185455523 in SND1 (OR (95% CI)= 0.68 (0.56-0.83), P=2.0x10-4). When restricting to serous histology (n=6,500), the magnitude of association strengthened for rs185455523 (OR=0.60, P=1.0x10-4). Gene-level analyses revealed that variation in ADAR was associated (P<0.05) with EOC susceptibility, with PAML=0.022 and PSKAT-CR=0.020. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis in EOC tissue revealed significant associations (P<0.05) with ADAR expression for several SNPs in ADAR, including rs1127313 (G/A), a SNP in the 3' untranslated region. In summary, germline variation involving RNA editing genes may influence EOC susceptibility, warranting further investigation of inherited and acquired alterations affecting RNA editing.

Chan TH, Qamra A, Tan KT, et al.
ADAR-Mediated RNA Editing Predicts Progression and Prognosis of Gastric Cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2016; 151(4):637-650.e10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUD & AIMS: Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of global cancer mortality. Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing is a recently described novel epigenetic mechanism involving sequence alterations at the RNA but not DNA level, primarily mediated by ADAR (adenosine deaminase that act on RNA) enzymes. Emerging evidence suggests a role for RNA editing and ADARs in cancer, however, the relationship between RNA editing and GC development and progression remains unknown.
METHODS: In this study, we leveraged on the next-generation sequencing transcriptomics to demarcate the GC RNA editing landscape and the role of ADARs in this deadly malignancy.
RESULTS: Relative to normal gastric tissues, almost all GCs displayed a clear RNA misediting phenotype with ADAR1/2 dysregulation arising from the genomic gain and loss of the ADAR1 and ADAR2 gene in primary GCs, respectively. Clinically, patients with GCs exhibiting ADAR1/2 imbalance demonstrated extremely poor prognoses in multiple independent cohorts. Functionally, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that ADAR-mediated RNA misediting is closely associated with GC pathogenesis, with ADAR1 and ADAR2 playing reciprocal oncogenic and tumor suppressive roles through their catalytic deaminase domains, respectively. Using an exemplary target gene PODXL (podocalyxin-like), we demonstrate that the ADAR2-regulated recoding editing at codon 241 (His to Arg) confers a loss-of-function phenotype that neutralizes the tumorigenic ability of the unedited PODXL.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights a major role for RNA editing in GC disease and progression, an observation potentially missed by previous next-generation sequencing analyses of GC focused on DNA alterations alone. Our findings also suggest new GC therapeutic opportunities through ADAR1 enzymatic inhibition or the potential restoration of ADAR2 activity.

Li Z, Tian Y, Tian N, et al.
Aberrant alternative splicing pattern of ADAR2 downregulates adenosine-to-inosine editing in glioma.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(6):2845-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is the most common type of RNA editing in mammals, and is catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs). ADAR2 is the main enzyme responsible for A-to-I editing in humans, and A-to-I underediting at the glutamine (Q)/arginine (R) site of the glutamate receptor subunit B (GluR-B) is associated with the pathogenesis and invasiveness of glioma. The level of ADAR2 mRNA expression and the alternative splicing of the ADAR2 pre-mRNA both affect the catalytic activity of ADAR2. However, reports of ADAR2 mRNA expression in glioma are inconsistent. The mechanism regulating ADAR2 pre-mRNA splicing is also unknown. In this study, we explored the deregulation of A-to-I RNA editing in glioma. We confirmed the underediting at the Q/R site of GluR-B mRNA in the glioma cell lines U87, U251 and A172 compared with that in normal human astrocytes (NHAs) HA1800. However, we demonstrated with reverse transcription (RT-PCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) that the expression of ADAR2 mRNA was not significantly altered in the glioma cell lines. Three alternative splicing sites are utilized in the glioma cell lines and NHAs: the first, located between exons -1 and 1, causes the inclusion of exon 1a; the second causes the removal of exon 2, which encodes two double-stranded RNA-binding domains; and the third, located between exons 4 and 6, causes the inclusion of alternative exon 5a, introducing a 120-nucleotide coding Alu-repeat sequence in frame. However, the expression ratio of two types of transcripts (with and without exon 5a) was altered in the glioma cells. Transcripts with exon 5a, which generate an ADAR2 isoform with ~50% reduced activity, were predominantly expressed in the glioma cell lines, whereas transcripts without exon 5a were predominantly expressed in the NHAs. From these results, we conclude that this aberrant alternative splicing pattern of ADAR2 downregulates A-to-I editing in glioma.

Tomaselli S, Galeano F, Alon S, et al.
Modulation of microRNA editing, expression and processing by ADAR2 deaminase in glioblastoma.
Genome Biol. 2015; 16:5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ADAR enzymes convert adenosines to inosines within double-stranded RNAs, including microRNA (miRNA) precursors, with important consequences on miRNA retargeting and expression. ADAR2 activity is impaired in glioblastoma and its rescue has anti-tumoral effects. However, how ADAR2 activity may impact the miRNome and the progression of glioblastoma is not known.
RESULTS: By integrating deep-sequencing and array approaches with bioinformatics analyses and molecular studies, we show that ADAR2 is essential to edit a small number of mature miRNAs and to significantly modulate the expression of about 90 miRNAs in glioblastoma cells. Specifically, the rescue of ADAR2 activity in cancer cells recovers the edited miRNA population lost in glioblastoma cell lines and tissues, and rebalances expression of onco-miRNAs and tumor suppressor miRNAs to the levels observed in normal human brain. We report that the major effect of ADAR2 is to reduce the expression of a large number of miRNAs, most of which act as onco-miRNAs. ADAR2 can edit miR-222/221 and miR-21 precursors and decrease the expression of the corresponding mature onco-miRNAs in vivo and in vitro, with important effects on cell proliferation and migration.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings disclose an additional layer of complexity in miRNome regulation and provide information to better understand the impact of ADAR2 editing enzyme in glioblastoma. We propose that ADAR2 is a key factor for maintaining edited-miRNA population and balancing the expression of several essential miRNAs involved in cancer.

Wei J, Li Z, Du C, et al.
Abnormal expression of an ADAR2 alternative splicing variant in gliomas downregulates adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing.
Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2014; 156(6):1135-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RNA editing is catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs). ADAR2 is the main enzyme responsible for recoding editing in humans. Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing at the Q/R site is reported to be decreased in gliomas; however, the expression of ADAR2 mRNA was not greatly affected.
METHODS: We determined ADAR2 mRNA expression in human glioblastoma cell lines and in normal human glial cells by real-time RT-PCR. We also determined ADAR2 mRNA expression in 44 glioma tissues and normal white matter. After identifying an alternative splicing variant (ASV) of ADAR2 in gliomas, we performed sequencing. We then classified glioblastomas based on the presence (+) or absence (-) of the ASV to determine the correlations between ASV + and malignant features of glioblastomas, such as invasion, peritumoral brain edema, and survival time.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences in ADAR2 mRNA expression among human glioblastoma cell lines or in gliomas compared with normal white matter (all p > 0.05). The ASV, which contained a 47-nucleotide insertion in the ADAR2 mRNA transcript, was detected in the U251 and BT325 cell lines, and in some glioma tissues. The expression rate of ASV differed among gliomas of different grades. ASV + glioblastomas were more malignant than ASV - glioblastomas.
CONCLUSIONS: ADAR2 is a family of enzymes in which ASVs result in differences in enzymatic activity. The ADAR2 ASV may be correlated with the invasiveness of gliomas. Identification of the mechanistic characterization of ADAR2 ASV may have future potential for individualized molecular targeted-therapy for glioma.

Liu WH, Chen CH, Yeh KH, et al.
ADAR2-mediated editing of miR-214 and miR-122 precursor and antisense RNA transcripts in liver cancers.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e81922 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A growing list of microRNAs (miRNAs) show aberrant expression patterns in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the regulatory mechanisms largely remain unclear. RNA editing catalyzed by members of the adenosine deaminase acting on the RNA (ADAR) family could target the miRNA precursors and affect the biogenesis process. Therefore, we investigate whether RNA editing could be one mechanism contributing to the deregulation of specific miRNAs in HCC. By overexpression of individual ADARs in hepatoma cells, RNA editing on the precursors of 16 miRNAs frequently deregulated in HCC was screened by a sensitive high-resolution melting platform. The results identified RNA precursors of miR-214 and miR-122 as potential targets edited by ADAR2. A subset of HCC showing elevated ADAR2 verified the major editings identified in ARAR2 overexpressed hepatoma cells, either with A-to-I or U-to-C changes. The unusual U-to-C editing at specific residues was demonstrated as being attributed to the A-to-I editing on the RNA transcripts complementary to the pri-miRNAs. The editing event caused a decrease of the RNA transcript complementary to pri-miR-214, which led to the decrease of pri-miR-214 and miR-214 and resulted in the increased protein level of its novel target gene Rab15. In conclusion, the current study discovered ADAR2-mediated editing of the complementary antisense transcripts as a novel mechanism for regulating the biogenesis of specific miRNAs during hepatocarcinogenesis.

Qin YR, Qiao JJ, Chan TH, et al.
Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing mediated by ADARs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(3):840-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the major histologic form of esophageal cancer, is a heterogeneous tumor displaying a complex variety of genetic and epigenetic changes. Aberrant RNA editing of adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I), as it is catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR), represents a common posttranscriptional modification in certain human diseases. In this study, we investigated the status and role of ADARs and altered A-to-I RNA editing in ESCC tumorigenesis. Among the three ADAR enzymes expressed in human cells, only ADAR1 was overexpressed in primary ESCC tumors. ADAR1 overexpression was due to gene amplification. Patients with ESCC with tumoral overexpression of ADAR1 displayed a poor prognosis. In vitro and in vivo functional assays established that ADAR1 functions as an oncogene during ESCC progression. Differential expression of ADAR1 resulted in altered gene-specific editing activities, as reflected by hyperediting of FLNB and AZIN1 messages in primary ESCC. Notably, the edited form of AZIN1 conferred a gain-of-function phenotype associated with aggressive tumor behavior. Our findings reveal that altered gene-specific A-to-I editing events mediated by ADAR1 drive the development of ESCC, with potential implications in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of this disease.

Wang Q, Hui H, Guo Z, et al.
ADAR1 regulates ARHGAP26 gene expression through RNA editing by disrupting miR-30b-3p and miR-573 binding.
RNA. 2013; 19(11):1525-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Rho GTPase activating protein 26 (ARHGAP26) is a negative regulator of the Rho family that converts the small G proteins RhoA and Cdc42 to their inactive GDP-bound forms. It is essential for the CLIC/GEEC endocytic pathway, cell spreading, and muscle development. The present study shows that ARHGAP26 mRNA undergoes extensive A-to-I RNA editing in the 3' UTR that is specifically catalyzed by ADAR1. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein levels of ARHGAP26 were decreased in cells in which ADAR1 was knocked down. Conversely, ADAR1 overexpression increased the abundance of ARHGAP26 mRNA and protein. In addition, we found that both miR-30b-3p and miR-573 target the ARHGAP26 gene and that RNA editing of ARHGAP26 mediated by ADAR1 abolished the repression of its expression by miR-30b-3p or miR-573. When ADAR1 was overexpressed, the reduced abundance of ARHGAP26 protein mediated by miR-30b-3p or miR-573 was rescued. Importantly, we also found that knocking down ADAR1 elevated RhoA activity, which was consistent with the reduced level of ARHGAP26. Conversely, when ADAR1 was overexpressed, the amount of RhoA-GTP decreased. The similar expression patterns of ARHGAP26 and ADAR1 in human tissue samples further confirmed our findings. Taken together, our results suggest that ADAR1 regulates the expression of ARHGAP26 through A-to-I RNA editing by disrupting the binding of miR-30b-3p and miR-573 within the 3' UTR of ARHGAP26. This study provides a novel insight into the mechanism by which ADAR1 and its RNA editing function regulate microRNA-mediated modulation of target genes.

Chan TH, Lin CH, Qi L, et al.
A disrupted RNA editing balance mediated by ADARs (Adenosine DeAminases that act on RNA) in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Gut. 2014; 63(5):832-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous tumour displaying a complex variety of genetic and epigenetic changes. In human cancers, aberrant post-transcriptional modifications, such as alternative splicing and RNA editing, may lead to tumour specific transcriptome diversity.
DESIGN: By utilising large scale transcriptome sequencing of three paired HCC clinical specimens and their adjacent non-tumour (NT) tissue counterparts at depth, we discovered an average of 20 007 inferred A to I (adenosine to inosine) RNA editing events in transcripts. The roles of the double stranded RNA specific ADAR (Adenosine DeAminase that act on RNA) family members (ADARs) and the altered gene specific editing patterns were investigated in clinical specimens, cell models and mice.
RESULTS: HCC displays a severely disrupted A to I RNA editing balance. ADAR1 and ADAR2 manipulate the A to I imbalance of HCC via their differential expression in HCC compared with NT liver tissues. Patients with ADAR1 overexpression and ADAR2 downregulation in tumours demonstrated an increased risk of liver cirrhosis and postoperative recurrence and had poor prognoses. Due to the differentially expressed ADAR1 and ADAR2 in tumours, the altered gene specific editing activities, which was reflected by the hyper-editing of FLNB (filamin B, β) and the hypo-editing of COPA (coatomer protein complex, subunit α), are closely associated with HCC pathogenesis. In vitro and in vivo functional assays prove that ADAR1 functions as an oncogene while ADAR2 has tumour suppressive ability in HCC.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the fact that the differentially expressed ADARs in tumours, which are responsible for an A to I editing imbalance, has great prognostic value and diagnostic potential for HCC.

Nemlich Y, Greenberg E, Ortenberg R, et al.
MicroRNA-mediated loss of ADAR1 in metastatic melanoma promotes tumor growth.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(6):2703-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Some solid tumors have reduced posttranscriptional RNA editing by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, but the functional significance of this alteration has been unclear. Here, we found the primary RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 is frequently reduced in metastatic melanomas. In situ analysis of melanoma samples using progression tissue microarrays indicated a substantial downregulation of ADAR1 during the metastatic transition. Further, ADAR1 knockdown altered cell morphology, promoted in vitro proliferation, and markedly enhanced the tumorigenicity in vivo. A comparative whole genome expression microarray analysis revealed that ADAR1 controls the expression of more than 100 microRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate many genes associated with the observed phenotypes. Importantly, we discovered that ADAR1 fundamentally regulates miRNA processing in an RNA binding–dependent, yet RNA editing–independent manner by regulating Dicer expression at the translational level via let-7. In addition, ADAR1 formed a complex with DGCR8 that was mutually exclusive with the DGCR8-Drosha complex that processes pri-miRNAs in the nucleus. We found that cancer cells silence ADAR1 by overexpressing miR-17 and miR-432, which both directly target the ADAR1 transcript. We further demonstrated that the genes encoding miR-17 and miR-432 are frequently amplified in melanoma and that aberrant hypomethylation of the imprinted DLK1-DIO3 region in chromosome 14 can also drive miR-432 overexpression.

Hochberg M, Gilead L, Markel G, et al.
Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) transcript: A-to-I editing events in normal and cancerous human keratinocytes.
Arch Dermatol Res. 2013; 305(6):519-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are the most common malignancies in caucasians worldwide. Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) was suggested to function as a tumor suppressor gene in several cancers, and to play a role in the proliferation of keratinocytes. A-to-I RNA editing is a post-transcriptional mechanism frequently used to expand and diversify transcriptome and proteome repertoire in eukaryotic cells. A-to-I RNA editing can alter codons, substitute amino acids and affect protein sequence, structure, and function. Two editing sites were identified within the IGFBP7 transcript. To evaluate the expression and editing of IGFBP7 mRNA in NMSC compared to normal epidermis. We examined the expression and mRNA editing level of IGFBP7 in 22 basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 15 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 18 normal epidermis samples that were surgically removed from patients by the Mohs Micrographic Surgery procedure. We studied the effect of IGFBP7 editing on an immortalized HaCaT keratinocyte cell model. IGFBP7 mRNA is over expressed in BCC and SCC compared to normal epidermis. Moreover, the IGFBP7 transcript is highly edited in normal epidermis, but its editing is significantly reduced in BCC and SCC. The edited form of IGFBP7 can inhibit proliferation and induce senescence in cultured keratinocytes. This study describes for the first time A-to-I editing in the coding sequence of a tumor suppressor gene in humans, and suggests that IGFBP7 editing serves as a fine-tuning mechanism to maintain the equilibrium between proliferation and senescence in normal skin.

Shimokawa T, Rahman MF, Tostar U, et al.
RNA editing of the GLI1 transcription factor modulates the output of Hedgehog signaling.
RNA Biol. 2013; 10(2):321-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway has important roles in tumorigenesis and in embryonal patterning. The Glioma-associated oncogene 1 (GLI1) is a key molecule in HH signaling, acting as a transcriptional effector and, moreover, is considered to be a potential therapeutic target for several types of cancer. To extend our previous focus on the implications of alternative splicing for HH signal transduction, we now report on an additional post-transcriptional mechanism with an impact on GLI1 activity, namely RNA editing. The GLI1 mRNA is highly edited at nucleotide 2179 by adenosine deamination in normal cerebellum, but the extent of this modification is reduced in cell lines from the cerebellar tumor medulloblastoma. Additionally, basal cell carcinoma tumor samples exhibit decreased GLI1 editing compared with normal skin. Interestingly, knocking down of either ADAR1 or ADAR2 reduces RNA editing of GLI1. This adenosine to inosine substitution leads to a change from Arginine to Glycine at position 701 that influences not only GLI1 transcriptional activity, but also GLI1-dependent cellular proliferation. Specifically, the edited GLI1, GLI1-701G, has a higher capacity to activate most of the transcriptional targets tested and is less susceptible to inhibition by the negative regulator of HH signaling suppressor of fused. However, the Dyrk1a kinase, implicated in cellular proliferation, is more effective in increasing the transcriptional activity of the non-edited GLI1. Finally, introduction of GLI1-701G into medulloblastoma cells confers a smaller increase in cellular growth relative to GLI1. In conclusion, our findings indicate that RNA editing of GLI1 is a regulatory mechanism that modulates the output of the HH signaling pathway.

Jiang Q, Crews LA, Barrett CL, et al.
ADAR1 promotes malignant progenitor reprogramming in chronic myeloid leukemia.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(3):1041-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular etiology of human progenitor reprogramming into self-renewing leukemia stem cells (LSC) has remained elusive. Although DNA sequencing has uncovered spliceosome gene mutations that promote alternative splicing and portend leukemic transformation, isoform diversity also may be generated by RNA editing mediated by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes that regulate stem cell maintenance. In this study, whole-transcriptome sequencing of normal, chronic phase, and serially transplantable blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) progenitors revealed increased IFN-γ pathway gene expression in concert with BCR-ABL amplification, enhanced expression of the IFN-responsive ADAR1 p150 isoform, and a propensity for increased adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing during CML progression. Lentiviral overexpression experiments demonstrate that ADAR1 p150 promotes expression of the myeloid transcription factor PU.1 and induces malignant reprogramming of myeloid progenitors. Moreover, enforced ADAR1 p150 expression was associated with production of a misspliced form of GSK3β implicated in LSC self-renewal. Finally, functional serial transplantation and shRNA studies demonstrate that ADAR1 knockdown impaired in vivo self-renewal capacity of blast crisis CML progenitors. Together these data provide a compelling rationale for developing ADAR1-based LSC detection and eradication strategies.

Bianchetti L, Kieffer D, Féderkeil R, Poch O
Increased frequency of single base substitutions in a population of transcripts expressed in cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:509 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Single Base Substitutions (SBS) that alter transcripts expressed in cancer originate from somatic mutations. However, recent studies report SBS in transcripts that are not supported by the genomic DNA of tumor cells.
METHODS: We used sequence based whole genome expression profiling, namely Long-SAGE (L-SAGE) and Tag-seq (a combination of L-SAGE and deep sequencing), and computational methods to identify transcripts with greater SBS frequencies in cancer. Millions of tags produced by 40 healthy and 47 cancer L-SAGE experiments were compared to 1,959 Reference Tags (RT), i.e. tags matching the human genome exactly once. Similarly, tens of millions of tags produced by 7 healthy and 8 cancer Tag-seq experiments were compared to 8,572 RT. For each transcript, SBS frequencies in healthy and cancer cells were statistically tested for equality.
RESULTS: In the L-SAGE and Tag-seq experiments, 372 and 4,289 transcripts respectively, showed greater SBS frequencies in cancer. Increased SBS frequencies could not be attributed to known Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP), catalogued somatic mutations or RNA-editing enzymes. Hypothesizing that Single Tags (ST), i.e. tags sequenced only once, were indicators of SBS, we observed that ST proportions were heterogeneously distributed across Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC), healthy differentiated and cancer cells. ESC had the lowest ST proportions, whereas cancer cells had the greatest. Finally, in a series of experiments carried out on a single patient at 1 healthy and 3 consecutive tumor stages, we could show that SBS frequencies increased during cancer progression.
CONCLUSION: If the mechanisms generating the base substitutions could be known, increased SBS frequency in transcripts would be a new useful biomarker of cancer. With the reduction of sequencing cost, sequence based whole genome expression profiling could be used to characterize increased SBS frequency in patient's tumor and aid diagnostic.

Shaikhibrahim Z, Lindstrot A, Ochsenfahrt J, et al.
Epigenetics-related genes in prostate cancer: expression profile in prostate cancer tissues, androgen-sensitive and -insensitive cell lines.
Int J Mol Med. 2013; 31(1):21-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epigenetic changes have been suggested to drive prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to identify novel epigenetics-related genes in PCa tissues, and to examine their expression in metastatic PCa cell lines. We analyzed the expression of epigenetics-related genes via a clustering analysis based on gene function in moderately and poorly differentiated PCa glands compared to normal glands of the peripheral zone (prostate proper) from PCa patients using Whole Human Genome Oligo Microarrays. Our analysis identified 12 epigenetics-related genes with a more than 2-fold increase or decrease in expression and a p-value <0.01. In modera-tely differentiated tumors compared to normal glands of the peripheral zone, we found the genes, TDRD1, IGF2, DICER1, ADARB1, HILS1, GLMN and TRIM27, to be upregulated, whereas TNRC6A and DGCR8 were found to be downregulated. In poorly differentiated tumors, we found TDRD1, ADARB and RBM3 to be upregulated, whereas DGCR8, PIWIL2 and BC069781 were downregulated. Our analysis of the expression level for each gene in the metastatic androgen-sensitive VCaP and LNCaP, and -insensitive PC3 and DU-145 PCa cell lines revealed differences in expression among the cell lines which may reflect the different biological properties of each cell line, and the potential role of each gene at different metastatic sites. The novel epigenetics-related genes that we identified in primary PCa tissues may provide further insight into the role that epigenetic changes play in PCa. Moreover, some of the genes that we identified may play important roles in primary PCa and metastasis, in primary PCa only, or in metastasis only. Follow-up studies are required to investigate the functional role and the role that the expression of these genes play in the outcome and progression of PCa using tissue microarrays.

Valles I, Pajares MJ, Segura V, et al.
Identification of novel deregulated RNA metabolism-related genes in non-small cell lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(8):e42086 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Several alterations in RNA metabolism have been found in lung cancer cells; this suggests that RNA metabolism-related molecules are involved in the development of this pathology. In this study, we searched for RNA metabolism-related genes that exhibit different expression levels between normal and tumor lung tissues. We identified eight genes differentially expressed in lung adenocarcinoma microarray datasets. Of these, seven were up-regulated whereas one was down-regulated. Interestingly, most of these genes had not previously been associated with lung cancer. These genes play diverse roles in mRNA metabolism: three are associated with the spliceosome (ASCL3L1, SNRPB and SNRPE), whereas others participate in RNA-related processes such as translation (MARS and MRPL3), mRNA stability (PCBPC1), mRNA transport (RAE), or mRNA editing (ADAR2, also known as ADARB1). Moreover, we found a high incidence of loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 21q22.3, where the ADAR2 locus is located, in NSCLC cell lines and primary tissues, suggesting that the downregulation of ADAR2 in lung cancer is associated with specific genetic losses. Finally, in a series of adenocarcinoma patients, the expression of five of the deregulated genes (ADAR2, MARS, RAE, SNRPB and SNRPE) correlated with prognosis. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that changes in RNA metabolism are involved in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, and identify new potential targets for the treatment of this disease.

Galeano F, Rossetti C, Tomaselli S, et al.
ADAR2-editing activity inhibits glioblastoma growth through the modulation of the CDC14B/Skp2/p21/p27 axis.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(8):998-1009 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Grade IV astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive and lethal tumors affecting humans. ADAR2-mediated A-to-I RNA editing, an essential post-transcriptional modification event in brain, is impaired in GBMs and astrocytoma cell lines. However, the role of ADAR2 editing in astrocytomas remains to be defined. Here, we show that ADAR2 editing rescue in astrocytomas prevents tumor growth in vivo and modulates an important cell cycle pathway involving the Skp2/p21/p27 proteins, often altered in glioblastoma. We demonstrate that ADAR2 deaminase activity is essential to inhibit tumor growth. Indeed, we identify the phosphatase CDC14B, which acts upstream of the Skp2/p21/p27 pathway, as a novel and critical ADAR2 target gene involved in glioblastoma growth. Specifically, ADAR2-mediated editing on CDC14B pre-mRNA increases its expression with a consequent reduction of the Skp2 target protein, as shown both in vitro and in vivo. We found that, compared to normal brain, both CDC14B editing and expression are progressively impaired in astrocytomas from grade I to IV, being very low in GBMs. These findings (1) demonstrate that post-transcriptional A-to-I RNA editing might be crucial for glioblastoma pathogenesis, (2) identify ADAR2-editing enzyme as a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene and (3) provide proof of principle that ADAR2 or its substrates may represent a suitable target(s) for possible novel, more effective and less toxic approaches to the treatment of GBMs.

Chen CP, Lin SP, Chen M, et al.
Mosaic supernumerary r(1)(p13.2q23.3) in a 10-year-old girl with epilepsy facial asymmetry psychomotor retardation kyphoscoliosis dermatofibrosarcoma and multiple exostoses.
Genet Couns. 2011; 22(3):273-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report molecular cytogenetic characterization of mosaic supernumerary r(1)(p13.2q23.3) in a 10-year-old girl with epilepsy, facial asymmetry, psychomotor retardation, kyphoscoliosis, dermatofibrosarcoma and multiple exostoses. The supernumerary r(1) is associated with gene dosage increase of CHRNB2, ADAR and KCNJ10 in the pericentromeric area of 1q, and a breakpoint within CTTNBP2NL at 1p13.2. We speculate that the gene dosage increase of CHRNB2, ADAR and KCNJ10 is most likely responsible for epilepsy, and the breakpoint at 1p13.2 in the supernumerary r(1) is most likely responsible for the development of multiple exostoses and osteochondroma in this patient.

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