Identification of the long, edited dsRNAome of LPS-stimulated immune cells


Endogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) must be intricately regulated in mammals to prevent aberrant activation of host inflammatory pathways by cytosolic dsRNA binding proteins. Here, we define the long, endogenous dsRNA repertoire in mammalian macrophages and monocytes during the inflammatory response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Hyperediting by adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADAR) enzymes was quantified over time using RNA-seq data from activated mouse macrophages to identify 342 Editing Enriched Regions (EERs), indicative of highly structured dsRNA. Analysis of publicly available data sets for samples of human peripheral blood monocytes resulted in discovery of 3438 EERs in the human transcriptome. Human EERs had predicted secondary structures that were significantly more stable than those of mouse EERs and were located primarily in introns, whereas nearly all mouse EERs were in 3′ UTRs. Seventy-four mouse EER-associated genes contained an EER in the orthologous human gene, although nucleotide sequence and position were only rarely conserved. Among these conserved EER-associated genes were several TNF alpha-signaling genes, including Sppl2a and Tnfrsf1b, important for processing and recognition of TNF alpha, respectively. Using publicly available data and experimental validation, we found that a significant proportion of EERs accumulated in the nucleus, a strategy that may prevent aberrant activation of proinflammatory cascades in the cytoplasm. The observation of many ADAR-edited dsRNAs in mammalian immune cells, a subset of which are in orthologous genes of mouse and human, suggests a conserved role for these structured regions.

Genome Research, (26), 6, pp. 852–862,