The new emerging field in biology is the epitranscriptome. Considering the abundance and diversity of RNA modifications present in all RNAs, it is obvious we are currently missing a layer of information that can have profound consequences for the expression and biological function of RNA within the cell. One of the most abundant and best studied modifications found in different classes of RNA is inosine which we have been studying for over 25 years.
The ADAR (adenosine deaminases that act on RNA) enzymes edit double-stranded (ds)RNA by deaminating adenosine to inosine. This can results in recoding of protein as edited adenosine is read as guanosine by the cellular machinery.
Recently there has been a lot of interest in RNA editing and its role in innate immunity and cancer. It has been also shown that mutation in ADAR can cause autoimmune diseases such as Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome (AGS). Therefore we are trying to understand the biological role of RNA editing by using model organisms such as mouse and Drosophila. We are both, overexpressing or Knocking down ADAR and studying the consequence of this on the phenotype of the organism. We are also studying the regulation of ADAR proteins. We also use LC-MS to study the abundance of inosine in mRNA.