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Chawla, G., Sokol, N.S. (2014). ADAR mediates differential expression of polycistronic microRNAs.  Nucleic Acids Res. 42(8): 5245--5255.
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Research paper

Adenosine deaminases acting on RNAs (ADARs) convert adenosine residues to inosines in primary microRNA (pri-miRNA) transcripts to alter the structural conformation of these precursors and the subsequent functions of the encoded microRNAs (miRNAs). Here we show that RNA editing by Drosophila ADAR modulates the expression of three co-transcribed miRNAs encoded by the evolutionarily conserved let-7-Complex (let-7-C) locus. For example, a single A-to-I change at the -6 residue of pri-miR-100, the first miRNA in this let-7-C polycistronic transcript, leads to enhanced miRNA processing by Drosha and consequently enhanced functional miR-100 both in vitro as well as in vivo. In contrast, other editing events, including one at the +43 residue of the pri-miR-125, destabilize the primary transcript and reduce the levels of all three encoded miRNAs. Consequently, loss of adar in vivo leads to reduced miR-100 but increased miR-125. In wild-type animals, the destabilizing editing events in pri-let-7-C increase during the larval-to-adult transition and are critical for the normal downregulation of all three miRNAs seen late in metamorphosis. These findings unravel a new regulatory role for ADAR and raise the possibility that ADAR mediates the differential expression characteristic of many polycistronic miRNA clusters.

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PMC4005697 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Nucleic Acids Res.
    Nucleic Acids Research
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