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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(11), 22796-22816; doi:10.3390/ijms141122796
Review

ADAR Enzyme and miRNA Story: A Nucleotide that Can Make the Difference

1,†
,
1,†
,
2,* , 2
,
1,3
 and
1,*
1 Laboratory of RNA Editing, Onco-haematology Department, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, Rome 00165, Italy 2 Hepato-Metabolic Disease Unit and Liver Research Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Piazza S. Onofrio 4, Rome 00165, Italy 3 Department of Pediatric Science, Università di Pavia, Strada Nuova 65, Pavia 27100, Italy These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 5 November 2013 / Published: 19 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation by non-coding RNAs 2013)
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Abstract

Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes convert adenosine (A) to inosine (I) in double-stranded (ds) RNAs. Since Inosine is read as Guanosine, the biological consequence of ADAR enzyme activity is an A/G conversion within RNA molecules. A-to-I editing events can occur on both coding and non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), which are small regulatory RNAs of ~20–23 nucleotides that regulate several cell processes by annealing to target mRNAs and inhibiting their translation. Both miRNA precursors and mature miRNAs undergo A-to-I RNA editing, affecting the miRNA maturation process and activity. ADARs can also edit 3' UTR of mRNAs, further increasing the interplay between mRNA targets and miRNAs. In this review, we provide a general overview of the ADAR enzymes and their mechanisms of action as well as miRNA processing and function. We then review the more recent findings about the impact of ADAR-mediated activity on the miRNA pathway in terms of biogenesis, target recognition, and gene expression regulation.
Keywords: microRNA; Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR); A-to-I RNA editing; double-stranded RNA (dsRNA); non-coding sequence microRNA; Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR); A-to-I RNA editing; double-stranded RNA (dsRNA); non-coding sequence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tomaselli, S.; Bonamassa, B.; Alisi, A.; Nobili, V.; Locatelli, F.; Gallo, A. ADAR Enzyme and miRNA Story: A Nucleotide that Can Make the Difference. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 22796-22816.

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