RNA editing of the cacophony ion channel

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

A-to-I RNA editing is a modification process in which an Adenosine is edited to an Inosine post-transcriptionally by the ADAR family of enzymes. ADARs are adenosine deaminases that act on RNA. At this time we are trying to locate specific RNA editing sites in the cacophony calcium channel of three insect species to determine if RNA editing has any effect on transcriptional products. We are going to be performing comparative analysis using RT-PCR to map any similarities or differences in RNA editing sites between insects. To find editing sites we purify RNA from insect brains, and perform RT-PCR, then sequence our products. To ensure that we find editing sites and not polymorphisms we compare our sequence to DNA sequences when possible. We will be comparing the editing sites that we find with four known editing sites in the cacophony channel of Drosophila. At this time we have completed the first set of RT-PCR and are in the process of analyzing the data. The plans for our research are to determine RNA editing sites, and once located, determine the amino acid change(s) that occurs, and the possible conformational changes in the protein that may result. The long term goal for this project is to take advantage of the change in protein conformation and work on designing more specific pesticides

Presented May 2, 2007 at the Experimental Biology (FASEB) Annual Meeting, Washington DC