Metal and colorful model of RNA
In Editing RNA, Researchers See Endless Possibilities
RNA editing has been in DNA editing’s shadow for nearly a decade, but recent investments in the technology could bring it into the limelight.
ABOVE: © istock.com, Andy
In Editing RNA, Researchers See Endless Possibilities
In Editing RNA, Researchers See Endless Possibilities

RNA editing has been in DNA editing’s shadow for nearly a decade, but recent investments in the technology could bring it into the limelight.

RNA editing has been in DNA editing’s shadow for nearly a decade, but recent investments in the technology could bring it into the limelight.

ABOVE: © istock.com, Andy

RNA editing

Infographic showing endogenous adenosine enzymes acting on RNA (ADARs) edit genetic material in the cell by attaching to naturally occurring double-stranded RNAs, including mRNAs, and switching out A bases with I bases (left). Therapeutic RNA editing platforms based on this mechanism fall into one of two categories: either they use engineered enzymes, which generally consist of the editing part of the ADAR enzyme attached to another protein such as Cas13 that boosts specificity, alongside a guide RNA that targets the enzyme to the desired location (middle); or they consist of a guide RNA alone, which recruits an endogenous ADAR to edit the target sequence (right).
Infographic: RNA Editing Approaches
Christie Wilcox | Dec 1, 2021
RNA editing platforms leverage the natural activity of ADAR enzymes to make key changes to messenger RNAs before they are translated into proteins.
Left-Handed DNA Has a Biological Role Within a Dynamic Genetic Code
Rachel Brazil | Jun 1, 2020
Once considered an unimportant curiosity, Z-DNA is now recognized to provide an on-the-fly mechanism to regulate how an RNA transcript is edited.
Infographic: DNA Isn’t Always Right-Handed
Rachel Brazil | Jun 1, 2020
When the nucleic acid spirals to the left, it takes on a zig-zag shape known as Z-DNA that appears to regulate RNA editing.
RNA Editing Possible with CRISPR-Cas13
Ruth Williams | Oct 25, 2017
Scientists extend the capabilities of the CRISPR-Cas system to include precise manipulations of RNA sequences in human cells.
CRISPR System Targets RNA in Mammalian Cells
Anna Azvolinsky | Oct 4, 2017
Researchers engineer bacterial CRISPR-Cas13 to knock down RNA in mammalian cells.
CRISPR Corrects RNA-based Disease Defects
Kerry Grens | Aug 10, 2017
In human cells, researchers deploy the genome editor to snip out toxic repetitive sequences.
Cephalopod Genomes Contain Thousands of Conserved RNA Editing Sites
Abby Olena | Apr 6, 2017
Octopus, cuttlefish, and squid extensively edit messenger RNAs in an evolutionarily conserved process. 
A New Way to ID Targets of RNA-Binding Proteins
Ruth Williams | Jul 1, 2016
The catalytic domain of an RNA-editing enzyme is fused with RNA-binding proteins.
CRISPR Can Tag RNA
Kerry Grens | Mar 21, 2016
Modifications to the DNA-slicing program allow for monitoring the movement of messenger RNA.
Toying with RNA
Hayley Dunning | Jun 26, 2012
A new online game challenges users to design RNA sequences with the opportunity to have them brought to life.
How to Survive Freezing Waters
Jef Akst | Jan 9, 2012
For at least one species of octopus, all it takes is a little RNA editing.