Evolutionarily significant A-to-I RNA editing events originated through G-to-A mutations in primates



Recent studies have revealed thousands of A-to-I RNA editing events in primates, but the origination and general functions of these events are not well addressed. Results
Here, we perform a comparative editome study in human and rhesus macaque and uncover a substantial proportion of macaque A-to-I editing sites that are genomically polymorphic in some animals or encoded as non-editable nucleotides in human. The occurrence of these recent gain and loss of RNA editing through DNA point mutation is significantly more prevalent than that expected for the nearby regions. Ancestral state analyses further demonstrate that an increase in recent gain of editing events contribute to the over-representation, with G-to-A mutation site as a favorable location for the origination of robust A-to-I editing events. Population genetics analyses of the focal editing sites further reveal that a portion of these young editing events are evolutionarily significant, indicating general functional relevance for at least a fraction of these sites. Conclusions
Overall, we report a list of A-to-I editing events that recently originated through G-to-A mutations in primates, representing a valuable resource to investigate the features and evolutionary significance of A-to-I editing events at the population and species levels. The unique subset of primate editome also illuminates the general functions of RNA editing by connecting it to particular gene regulatory processes, based on the characterized outcome of a gene regulatory level in different individuals or primate species with or without these editing events.

For more details, please refer to the paper:

Evolutionarily significant A-to-I RNA editing events originated through G-to-A mutations in primates. Genome Biology, Volume 20, Issue 24, 4 February 2019, Pages 614-624.

Ni A. An et al.