Significance of A-to-I RNA editing of transcripts modulating pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

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RNA editing is a post-transcriptional process that alters the nucleotide sequence of RNA transcripts to generate transcriptome diversity. Among the various types of RNA editing, adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is the most frequent type of RNA editing in mammals. Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, ADAR1 and ADAR2, convert adenosines in double-stranded RNA structures into inosines by hydrolytic deamination. Inosine forms a base pair with cytidine as if it were guanosine; therefore, the conversion may affect the amino acid sequence, splicing, microRNA targeting, and miRNA maturation. It became apparent that disrupted RNA editing or abnormal ADAR expression is associated with several diseases including cancer, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, viral infections, and autoimmune disorders. The biological significance of RNA editing in pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD)-related genes is starting to be demonstrated. The authors conducted pioneering studies to reveal that RNA editing modulates drug metabolism potencies in the human liver, as well as the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy agents. Awareness of the importance of RNA editing in drug therapy is growing. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the RNA editing that affects the expression and function of drug response-related genes. Continuing studies on the RNA editing that regulates pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics would provide new beneficial information for personalized medicine.

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