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RNA editing independently occurs at three mir-376a-1 sites and may compromise the stability of the microRNA hairpin.

Gene; 628: 109-116, 2017 Sep 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28710037
RNA editing is being recognized as an important post-transcriptional mechanism that may have crucial roles in introducing genetic variation and phenotypic diversity. Despite microRNA editing recurrence, defining its biological relevance is still under extended debate. To better understand microRNA editing function and regulation we performed an exhaustive characterization of the A-to-I site-specific patterns in mir-376a-1, a mammalian microRNA which RNA editing is involved in the regulation of development and in disease. Thorough an integrative approach based on high-throughput small RNA sequencing, Sanger sequencing and computer simulations we explored mir-376a-1 editing in samples from various individuals and primate species including human placenta and macaque, gorilla, chimpanzee and human brain cortex. We observed that mir-376a-1 editing is a common phenomenon in the mature and primary microRNA molecules and it is more frequently detected in brain than in placenta. Primary mir-376a-1 is edited at three positions, -1, +4 and +44. Editing frequency estimations and in silico simulations indicated that editing was not equally recurrent along the three mir-376a-1 sites, nevertheless no epistatic interactions among them were observed. Particularly, the +4 site, located in the seed region of the mature miR-376a-5p, reached the highest editing frequency in all samples. Secondary structure predictions revealed that the +4 position was the one that conferred the highest stability to the mir-376a-1 hairpin. We suggest that molecular stability might partially explain the editing recurrence observed in certain microRNAs and that editing events conferring new functional regulatory roles in particular tissues and species could have been conserved along evolution, as it might be the case of mir-376a-1 in primate brain cortex.