Some solid tumors have reduced posttranscriptional RNA editing by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, but the functional significance of this alteration has been unclear. Here, we found the primary RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 is frequently reduced in metastatic melanomas. In situ analysis of melanoma samples using progression tissue microarrays indicated a substantial downregulation of ADAR1 during the metastatic transition. Further, ADAR1 knockdown altered cell morphology, promoted in vitro proliferation, and markedly enhanced the tumorigenicity in vivo. A comparative whole genome expression microarray analysis revealed that ADAR1 controls the expression of more than 100 microRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate many genes associated with the observed phenotypes. Importantly, we discovered that ADAR1 fundamentally regulates miRNA processing in an RNA binding–dependent, yet RNA editing–independent manner by regulating Dicer expression at the translational level via let-7. In addition, ADAR1 formed a complex with DGCR8 that was mutually exclusive with the DGCR8-Drosha complex that processes pri-miRNAs in the nucleus. We found that cancer cells silence
Yael Nemlich, Eyal Greenberg, Rona Ortenberg, Michal J. Besser, Iris Barshack, Jasmine Jacob-Hirsch, Elad Jacoby, Eran Eyal, Ludmila Rivkin, Victor G. Prieto, Nitin Chakravarti, Lyn M. Duncan, David M. Kallenberg, Eitan Galun, Dorothy C. Bennett, Ninette Amariglio, Menashe Bar-Eli, Jacob Schachter, Gideon Rechavi, Gal Markel
Reduced ADAR1 expression is a common event in melanoma.