Although an increasing number of RNA adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing sites are being discovered, how the editing frequencies of these sites are modulated to fine-tune protein function in adaptive responses is not well understood. A previous study screening for heat tolerance in Drosophila mutants discovered a hypnos-2 mutant strain that was later found to be defective in dADAR, the Drosophila gene encoding the A-to-I editing enzyme. This supports the hypothesis that cells and organisms respond to stressful environments by ADAR (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA)-mediated RNA editing. Here, we investigated changes in the RNA A-to-I editing frequencies of 30 Drosophila nervous system targets in response to heat shock, a stress acclimatization that requires the dADAR function. To our surprise, most of these nervous system editing targets showed reduced editing. Our results suggest that a change in RNA editing pattern is a mechanism by which organisms acclimate to drastic environmental change. However, how RNA editing confers heat resistance is more complicated and requires further investigation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Medicine