Uncovering Cis-Regulatory Elements Important for A-to-I RNA Editing in Fusarium graminearum
Chanjing Feng, Xinyu Cao, Yanfei Du, Yitong Chen, Kaiyun Xin, Jingwen Zou, Qiaojun Jin, J-R Xu, Huiquan Liu
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing independent of adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes was discovered in fungi recently, and shown to be crucial for sexual reproduction. However, the underlying mechanism for editing is unknown. Here, we combine genome-wide comparisons, proof-of-concept experiments, and machine learning to decipher cis -regulatory elements of A-to-I editing in Fusarium graminearum. We identified plenty of RNA primary sequences and secondary structural features that affect editing specificity and efficiency. Although hairpin loop structures contribute importantly to editing, unlike in animals, the primary sequences have more profound influences on editing than secondary structures. Nucleotide preferences at adjacent positions of editing sites are the most important features, especially preferences at the -1 position. Unexpectedly, besides the number of positions with preferred nucleotides, the combination of preferred nucleotides with depleted ones at different positions are also important for editing. Some cis -sequence features have distinct importance for editing specificity and efficiency. Machine learning models built from diverse sequence and secondary structural features can accurately predict genome-wide editing sites but not editing levels, indicating that the cis -regulatory principle of editing efficiency is more complex than that of editing specificity. Nevertheless, our model interpretation provides insights into the quantitative contribution of each feature to the prediction of both editing sites and levels. We found that efficient editing of FG3G34330 transcripts depended on the full-length RNA molecule, suggesting that additional RNA structural elements may also contribute to editing efficiency. Our work uncovers multidimensional cis -regulatory elements important for A-to-I RNA editing in F. graminearum, helping to elucidate the fungal editing mechanism. IMPORTANCE A-to-I RNA editing is a new epigenetic phenomenon that is crucial for sexual reproduction in fungi. Deciphering cis -regulatory elements of A-to-I RNA editing can help us elucidate the editing mechanism and develop a model that accurately predicts RNA editing. In this study, we discovered multiple RNA sequence and secondary structure features important for A-to-I editing in Fusarium graminearum. We also identified the cis -sequence features with distinct importance for editing specificity and efficiency. The potential importance of full-length RNA molecules for editing efficiency is also revealed. This study represents the first comprehensive investigation of the cis -regulatory principles of A-to-I RNA editing in fungi.