The motor neurons of patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) express abundant Q/R site-unedited GluR2 mRNA, whereas those of patients with other motor neuron diseases including familial ALS associated with mutated SOD1 (ALS1) and those of normal subjects express only Q/R site-edited GluR2 mRNA. Because adenosine deaminase acting on RNA type 2 (ADAR2) specifically catalyzes GluR2 Q/R site-editing, it is likely that ADAR2 activity is not sufficient to edit this site completely in motor neurons of patients with sporadic ALS. Because these molecular abnormalities occur in disease-and motor neuron-specific fashion and induce fatal epilepsy in mice, we have hypothesized that GluR2 Q/R site-underediting due to ADAR2 underactivity is a cause of neuronal death in sporadic ALS. We found that cytoplasmic fragile X mental retardation protein interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2) mRNA had an ADAR2-mediated editing position using RNA interference knockdown. Our review will include a discussion of new ADAR2 substrates that may be useful for research on sporadic ALS.
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