Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA1 (ADAR1) catalyzes the C6 deamination of adenosine (A) to produce inosine (I) in regions of RNA with double-stranded (ds) character. This process is known as A-to-I RNA editing. Alternative promoters drive the expression of the Adar1 gene and alternative splicing gives rise to transcripts that encode 2 ADAR1 protein size isoforms. ADAR1 p150 is an interferon (IFN)-inducible dsRNA adenosine deaminase found in the cytoplasm and nucleus, whereas ADAR1 p110 is constitutively expressed and nuclear in localization. Dependent on the duplex structure of the dsRNA substrate, deamination of adenosine by ADAR can be either highly site-selective or nonspecific. A-to-I editing can alter the stability of RNA structures and the coding of RNA as I is read as G instead of A by ribosomes during mRNA translation and by polymerases during RNA replication. A-to-I editing is of broad physiologic significance. Both the production and the action of IFNs, and hence the subsequent interaction of viruses with their hosts, are among the processes affected by A-to-I editing.
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