RNA Editing and RNA Interference: Interplay

RNA editing is a molecular process through which some cells can make discrete changes to specific nucleotide sequences within a RNA molecule after it has been generated by RNA polymerase. RNA editing has been observed in the RNA sequences of viruses, archaea and prokaryotes. RNA editing occurs in the cell nucleus and cytosol, as well as within mitochondria and plastids. In vertebrates, editing is rare and usually consists of a small number of changes to the sequence of affected molecules. Two types of small ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules – microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) – are central to RNA interference. The study of RNA interference incudes its cellular mechanisms, variation among organisms, biological functions like immunity, down regulation of genes, up regulation of genes and its applications in Gene knockdown, Functional genomics, medicine and biotechnology. The University of Albany situated at New York is rigorously involved towards all the novel research on RNA. The RNA Institute maintained by Paul Agris (University at Albany) is the best known platform for carrying out RNA analysis. Added to that, The RNA Society formed in 1993 facilitates sharing and dissemination of experimental results and emerging concepts in ribonucleic acid research.


Some viruses encode genes that express multiple proteins by using overlapping open reading frames (ORFs) through a process known as RNA editing in viruses RNA molecules with defects in processing, folding, or assembly with proteins are identified and rapidly degraded by the surveillance machinery. Because RNA degradation is ubiquitous in all cells, it is clear that it must be carefully controlled to accurately recognize target RNAs. RNA interference is an important pathway that is used in many different organisms to regulate gene expression. Two primary categories of these small RNAs- short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs)-act in both somatic and germline line-ages in a broad range of eukaryotic species to regulate endogenous genes and to defend the genome from invasive nucleic acids. RNA editing seems to have additional functions, including the regulation of retrotransposons and gene silencing, which adds a new urgency to the challenges of fully understanding ADAR functions thus giving rise to crosstalk in RNA Editing. Application of RNA Interference is that it can be utilized for targeted gene silencing by introduction of nucleic acid based tools that are specially designed to trigger the RNAi mechanism. Generally RNA sequencing of data is most commonly used to study this process such as identification of RNA Editing sites. In the mitochondria and chloroplasts of higher plants there is an RNA editing activity responsible for specific leading to RNA sequences different from the corresponding DNA sequences.

  • RNA Editing – Methodologies
  • Editing in plant mitochondria and plastids
  • Editing in viruses
  • RNA degradation
  • RNA Interference: Methodologies
  • Role of microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA)
  • Crosstalk with RNA editing
  • Application of RNA Interference

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