Cytidine to uridine (C-to-U) editing is one type of substitutional RNA editing. It occurs in both mammals and plants. The molecular mechanism of C-to-U editing involves the hydrolytic deamination of a cytosine to a uracil base. C-to-U editing is mediated by RNA-specific cytidine deaminases and several complementation factors, which have not been completely identified. Here, we review recent findings related to the regulation and enzymatic basis of C-to-U RNA editing. More importantly, when C-to-U editing occurs in coding regions, it has the power to reprogram genetic information on the RNA level, therefore it has great potential for applications in transcript repair (diseases related to thymidine to cytidine (T>C) or adenosine to guanosine (A>G) point mutations). If it is possible to manipulate or mimic C-to-U editing, T>C or A>G genetic mutation-related diseases could be treated. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic site-directed RNA editing are two different approaches for mimicking C-to-U editing. For enzymatic site-directed RNA editing, C-to-U editing has not yet been successfully performed, and in theory, adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) editing involves the same strategy as C-to-U editing. Therefore, in this review, for applications in transcript repair, we will provide a detailed overview of enzymatic site-directed RNA editing, with a focus on A-to-I editing and non-enzymatic site-directed C-to-U editing.
2017 International Research and Cooperation Association for Bio & Socio-Sciences Advancement