RNA editing in voltage-gated ion channels

Jason Bannock and Barry Hoopengardner, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Central Connecticut State University

A-to-I RNA editing is catalyzed by the ADAR family of enzymes. The modifications in the RNA sequences caused by ADARs are post-transcriptional and RNA editing is not present in every transcript. This leads into our work on quantifying the frequency of RNA editing over time in the slowpoke potassium channel of Drosophila melanogaster, with comparative data in the cacophony calcium channel in Apis mellifera the honey bee, Camponotus pennsylvanicus the common carpenter ant, and Pogonomyrmex barbatus, the red harvester ant. Through these comparative studies we hope to see consistencies that would lead us to investigate the possible targeting of a particular ion channel in pesticide development. The ultimate goal of our work is to use the information gained from the studying of ion channels to develop species specific pesticides that work on ion channels that edit at a high or low frequency depending on the species.

Presented April 21, 2007 at the 61st Annual Eastern Colleges Science Conference, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale NY