In Drosophila, A-to-I editing is prevalent in the brain, and mutations in the editing enzyme ADAR correlate with specific behavioral defects. Here we demonstrate a role for ADAR in behavioral temperature adaptation in Drosophila. Although there is a higher level of editing at lower temperatures, at 29°C more sites are edited. These sites are less evolutionarily conserved, more disperse, less likely to be involved in secondary structures, and more likely to be located in exons. Interestingly, hypomorph mutants for ADAR display a weaker transcriptional response to temperature changes than wild-type flies and a highly abnormal behavioral response upon temperature increase. In sum, our data shows that ADAR is essential for proper temperature adaptation, a key behavior trait that is essential for survival of flies in the wild. Moreover, our results suggest a more general role of ADAR in regulating RNA secondary structures in vivo.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2017 Buchumenski et al.