RNA editing is a highly conserved mechanism by which theAdenosine Deaminases Acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes convert adenosines (A) intoinosines (I), which are recognized by the splicing and translationalmachineries as guanosines (G). This seemingly small modification has anextensive effect both on the structure and function of the edited RNA. RNAediting has been found to be involved in viral RNA defense, mRNA recoding, andneuronal diseases. Because RNA editing is important for neuronal function,ADARs are essential in mammals. However, in Caenorhabditis elegans,deletion of either or both of its ADAR genes is not lethal, making thiswell-characterized model organism ideal for this kind of research.
In my work I studied the localization of ADR-2, thecatalytically active ADAR in C. elegans, how this localization isregulated and how it affects RNA editing activity. Also, I found differences intarget selection between human ADAR2 and C. elegans ADR-2. Exploitingthese differences, I built a system to predict human ADAR2 target selection.