Global Transcriptome Analysis of RNA Abundance Regulation by ADAR in Lung Adenocarcinoma

Michael F. Sharpnack, Bin Chen, Dvir Aran, Idit Kosti, Douglas D. Sharpnack, David P. Carbone, Parag Mallick, Kun Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite tremendous advances in targeted therapies against lung adenocarcinoma, the majority of patients do not benefit from personalized treatments. A deeper understanding of potential therapeutic targets is crucial to increase the survival of patients. One promising target, ADAR, is amplified in 13% of lung adenocarcinomas and in-vitro studies have demonstrated the potential of its therapeutic inhibition to inhibit tumor growth. ADAR edits millions of adenosines to inosines within the transcriptome, and while previous studies of ADAR in cancer have solely focused on protein-coding edits, > 99% of edits occur in non-protein coding regions. Here, we develop a pipeline to discover the regulatory potential of RNA editing sites across the entire transcriptome and apply it to lung adenocarcinoma tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas. This method predicts that 1413 genes contain regulatory edits, predominantly in non-coding regions. Genes with the largest numbers of regulatory edits are enriched in both apoptotic and innate immune pathways, providing a link between these known functions of ADAR and its role in cancer. We further show that despite a positive association between ADAR RNA expression and apoptotic and immune pathways, ADAR copy number is negatively associated with apoptosis and several immune cell types' signatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ADAR
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer
  • Lung adenocarcinoma
  • Post-transcriptional regulation
  • RNA editing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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