Identification and expression of adenosine deaminases acting on tRNA (ADAT) during early tail regeneration of the earthworm



RNA editing is a widespread phenomenon in all metazoans. One of the common RNA editing event is the chemical conversion of adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on tRNA (ADAT). During D. melanogaster development, the ADAT1 transcript was found to localize mainly to the central nervous system including brain and ventral nerve cord during brain development. Although an earthworm adenosine deaminases acting on mRNA (ADAR) has been identified and its possible implication in earthworm regeneration has been investigated, there is little accumulated information on ADAT and tRNA editing in the annelid including terrestrial earthworms.


This study aimed to investigate the molecular characteristics and the expression pattern of earthworm ADAT during tail regeneration to understand its physiological significance.


Nucleotide sequence of Ean-ADAT was retrieved from the genome assembly of Eisenia andrei via Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). The genome assembly of Eisenia andrei was downloaded from National Genomics Data Center ( The alignment and phylogenetic relationship of the core deaminase domains of ADATs and ADARs were analyzed. Its temporal expression during early tail regeneration was measured using real-time PCR.


The open reading frame of Ean-ADAT consists of 1719 nucleotides encoding 573 amino acids. Domain analysis indicates that Ean-ADAT has a deaminase domain composed of 498 amino acids and a predicted nuclear localization signal at the N-terminal. Its subcellular localization was predicted to be nuclear. The core deaminase region of Ean-ADAT encompasses the three active-site motifs, including zinc-chelating residues and a glutamate residue for catalytic activity. In addition, Ean-ADAT shares highly conserved RNA recognition region flanking the third cysteine of the deaminase motif with other ADAT1s even from the yeast. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis indicate that Ean-ADAT shows greater similarity to vertebrate ADARs than to yeast Tad1p. Ean-ADAT mRNA expression began to remarkably decrease before 12 h post-amputation, showing a tendency to gradual decrease until 7 dpa and then it slightly rebounded at 10 dpa.


Our results demonstrate that Ean-ADAT belongs to a class of ADAT1s and support the hypothesis of a common evolutionary origin for ADARs and ADATs. The temporal expression of Ean-ADAT could suggest that its activity is unrelated to the molecular mechanisms of dedifferentiation.

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This work was supported by a grant from the “National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR), funded by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea (NIBR202028201)” 2020 Graduate Program of Undiscovered Taxa; the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2019R1A2C2007785); Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2020R1A6A1A06046235).

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Correspondence to Sung-Jin Cho or Soon Cheol Park.

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Yoon, Y.B., Cho, SJ. & Park, S.C. Identification and expression of adenosine deaminases acting on tRNA (ADAT) during early tail regeneration of the earthworm. Genes Genom (2021).

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  • Earthworm
  • Tail regeneration
  • Adenosine deaminase acting on tRNA
  • mRNA expression