Monday, 13 February 2012
Flash Report: extensive RNA editing in human transcriptome
A study published online on 12 February 2012 in Nature Biotechnology (Comprehensive analysis of RNA-Seq data reveals extensive RNA editing in a human transcriptome) seems to confirm the data reported last year in Science relative to the presence of a large number of sequence differences between mRNA and DNA in the human transcriptome.
While the 2011 paper was strongly contested by other scientists due to technical issues and lack of academic rigor, the BGI team leaded by Dr. Jun Wang, Executive Director of BGI, developed a more rigorous pipeline for approaching these problems and answered some of the concerned questions.
This latest analysis was performed on more than 750 million sequencing reads from poly(A)+, poly(A)− and small RNA samples of a of a male Han Chinese individual. The study identified "22,688 RNA editing events in noncoding genes and introns, untranslated regions and coding sequences of protein-coding genes. Most changes (~93%) converted A to I(G), consistent with known editing mechanisms based on adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR)."
“The evidence of extensive RNA editing identified in a human transcriptome underscores the necessity of an effective method to fully detect these events in order to further advance our understanding of human development and normal pathophysiological condition,” said Jun Wang. “With continual improvement of the new approach, we believe this could be achieved in the near future.”