ADAR1 RNA editing regulates endothelial cell functions via the MDA-5 RNA sensing signaling pathway

Xinfeng Guo, Silvia Liu, Rose Yan, Vy Nguyen, Mazen Zenati, Timothy R. Billiar*, Qingde Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The RNA-sensing signaling pathway has been well studied as an essential antiviral mechanism of innate immunity. However, its role in non-infected cells is yet to be thoroughly characterized. Here, we demonstrated that the RNA sensing signaling pathway also reacts to the endogenous cellular RNAs in endothelial cells (ECs), and this reaction is regulated by the RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1. Cellular RNA sequencing analysis showed that EC RNAs endure extensive RNA editing, especially in the RNA transcripts of short interspersed nuclear elements. The EC-specific deletion of ADAR1 dramatically reduced the editing level on short interspersed nuclear element RNAs, resulting in newborn death in mice with damage evident in multiple organs. Genome-wide gene expression analysis revealed a prominent innate immune activation with a dramatically elevated expression of interferon-stimulated genes. However, blocking the RNA sensing signaling pathway by deletion of the cellular RNA receptor MDA-5 prevented interferon-stimulated gene expression and rescued the newborn mice from death. This evidence demonstrated that the RNA-editing/RNA-sensing signaling pathway dramatically modulates EC function, representing a novel molecular mechanism for the regulation of EC functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202101191
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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