Activity-Dependent A-to-I RNA Editing in Rat Cortical Neurons
Neville E. Sanjana, Erez Y. Levanon, Emily A. Hueske, Jessica M. Ambrose, Jin Billy Li


Changes in neural activity influence synaptic plasticity/scaling, gene expression, and epigenetic modifications. We present the first evidence that short-term and persistent changes in neural activity can alter adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, a post-transcriptional site-specific modification found in several neuron-specific transcripts. In rat cortical neuron cultures, activity-dependent changes in A-to-I RNA editing in coding exons are present after 6 hr of high potassium depolarization but not after 1 hr and require calcium entry into neurons. When treatments are extended from hours to days, we observe a negative feedback phenomenon: Chronic depolarization increases editing at many sites and chronic silencing decreases editing. We present several different modulations of neural activity that change the expression of different mRNA isoforms through editing.

  • Received April 15, 2012.
  • Accepted June 5, 2012.
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