Squid express conserved ADAR orthologs that possess novel features

Isabel C. Vallecillo-Viejo, Gjendine Voss, Caroline B. Albertin, Noa Liscovitch-Brauer, Eli Eisenberg, Joshua J.C. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The coleoid cephalopods display unusually extensive mRNA recoding by adenosine deamination, yet the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Because the adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADAR) enzymes catalyze this form of RNA editing, the structure and function of the cephalopod orthologs may provide clues. Recent genome sequencing projects have provided blueprints for the full complement of coleoid cephalopod ADARs. Previous results from our laboratory have shown that squid express an ADAR2 homolog, with two splice variants named sqADAR2a and sqADAR2b and that these messages are extensively edited. Based on octopus and squid genomes, transcriptomes, and cDNA cloning, we discovered that two additional ADAR homologs are expressed in coleoids. The first is orthologous to vertebrate ADAR1. Unlike other ADAR1s, however, it contains a novel N-terminal domain of 641 aa that is predicted to be disordered, contains 67 phosphorylation motifs, and has an amino acid composition that is unusually high in serines and basic amino acids. mRNAs encoding sqADAR1 are themselves extensively edited. A third ADAR-like enzyme, sqADAR/D-like, which is not orthologous to any of the vertebrate isoforms, is also present. Messages encoding sqADAR/D-like are not edited. Studies using recombinant sqADARs suggest that only sqADAR1 and sqADAR2 are active adenosine deaminases, both on perfect duplex dsRNA and on a squid potassium channel mRNA substrate known to be edited in vivo. sqADAR/D-like shows no activity on these substrates. Overall, these results reveal some unique features in sqADARs that may contribute to the high-level RNA recoding observed in cephalopods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1181713
JournalFrontiers in Genome Editing
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Vallecillo-Viejo, Voss, Albertin, Liscovitch-Brauer, Eisenberg and Rosenthal.


  • ADAR
  • Doryteuthis pealeii
  • RNA editing
  • adenosine deamination
  • cephalopods
  • genetic recoding
  • squid


Dive into the research topics of 'Squid express conserved ADAR orthologs that possess novel features'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this