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A radar for ADAR: Altered gene tracks RNA editing in neurons
Date:12/25/2011

ide variation in ADAR activity in the brains of flies of similar ages from individual to individual. This was a surprise, Reenan said, because all the flies were essentially genetically identical.

A versatile new tool?

Reenan said he is confident that the ADAR reporter could be useful in more organisms than the fruit fly. The idea of creating the reporter grew out of his lab's studies of comparative genomics in a number of species. ADAR, meanwhile, is found in both invertebrates and vertebrates. In fact, in the paper the researchers describe testing the flexibility of their engineering by inserting into their engineered jellyfish gene destined as it was for a fruit fly the splicing intron of a moth.

"Thus it was, a jellyfish-moth gene chimera was crippled by mutation, and repaired by a fruit fly enzyme," Reenan said. "Rube Goldberg would be proud."

Reenan said he plans to use the ADAR reporter in flies to continue the investigation of the genes associated with Fragile X and is eager for someone who works on the disorder in mice to give it a try.

The idea of adapting this method to direct ADAR to fix mistranscribed RNA or reverse DNA damage at the RNA level in a therapeutic fashion is farther into the future. But in a sense, at least ADAR is now on the radar.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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