The ADAR Family in Amphioxus: RNA Editing and Conserved Orthologous Site Predictions

Michał Zawisza-Álvarez, Claudia Pérez-Calles, Giacomo Gattoni, Jordi Garcia-Fernàndez, Èlia Benito-Gutiérrez, Carlos Herrera-Úbeda
2020 Genes  
RNA editing is a relatively unexplored process in which transcribed RNA is modified at specific nucleotides before translation, adding another level of regulation of gene expression. Cephalopods use it extensively to increase the regulatory complexity of their nervous systems, and mammals use it too, but less prominently. Nevertheless, little is known about the specifics of RNA editing in most of the other clades and the relevance of RNA editing from an evolutionary perspective remains unknown.
more » ... ve remains unknown. Here we analyze a key element of the editing machinery, the ADAR (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA) gene family, in an animal with a key phylogenetic position at the root of chordates: the cephalochordate amphioxus. We show, that as in cephalopods, ADAR genes in amphioxus are predominantly expressed in the nervous system; we identify a number of RNA editing events in amphioxus; and we provide a newly developed method to identify RNA editing events in highly polymorphic genomes using orthology as a guide. Overall, our work lays the foundations for future comparative analysis of RNA-editing events across the metazoan tree.
doi:10.3390/genes11121440 pmid:33265998 fatcat:za4y67u5crgcfazrafaalodpj4