Molecular consequences of adenosine deamination
The Jantsch group studies adenosine deamination in RNA. This type of modification is caused by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs). Adenosine deamination leads to the formation of inosines (I) in structured RNAs. A to I conversion is essential in mammals. Since inosines are recognized as guanosines by most cellular machineries adenosine deamination can affect folding, stability, but also the coding potential of RNAs. Most importantly, inosines mark double stranded RNAs as “self” to distinguish them from viral RNAs and to avoid activation of antiviral sensors by endogenous RNAs.
Within this SFB the Jantsch group aims at identifying endogenous RNAs that can trigger an immune response in the absence of ADARs. Alongside, we want to study how RNAs lacking modifications are recognized as foreign (with Bernecky) and how modifications affect the stability and folding of RNAs (with Ameres, Hofacker, Lusser, Micura, Rossmanith).