Role of Inosine-Uracil Base Pairs in the Canonical RNA Duplexes

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Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source GENES
MU Faculty or unit

Central European Institute of Technology

Keywords adenosine to inosine editing; dsRNA; molecular dynamics simulations; I-U base pairs
Description Adenosine to inosine (A-I) editing is the most common modification of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). This change is mediated by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) enzymes with a preference of U>A>C>G for 5' neighbor and G>C=A>U or G>C>U=A for 3' neighbor. A-I editing occurs most frequently in the non-coding regions containing repetitive elements such as ALUs. It leads to disruption of RNA duplex structure, which prevents induction of innate immune response. We employed standard and biased molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to analyze the behavior of RNA duplexes with single and tandem inosine-uracil (I-U) base pairs in different sequence context. Our analysis showed that the I-U pairs induce changes in base pair and base pair step parameters and have different dynamics when compared with standard canonical base pairs. In particular, the first I-U pair from tandem I-U/I-U systems exhibited increased dynamics depending on its neighboring 5' base. We discovered that UII sequence, which is frequently edited, has lower flexibility compared with other sequences (AII, GII, CII), hence it only modestly disrupts dsRNA. This might indicate that the UAA motifs in ALUs do not have to be sufficiently effective in preventing immune signaling.
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