Squid edit their RNA to keep cellular supply lines moving in the cold

WASHINGTON — Squid don’t have thermostats to control ocean temperatures. Instead, the cephalopods tweak RNA to adjust to frigid waters, a study suggests.

Usually, genetic instructions encoded in DNA are faithfully copied into messenger RNA, or mRNA, and then into proteins. But squid and other soft-bodied cephalopods edit many of their mRNAs so that the resulting proteins contain some different building blocks than are inscribed in DNA (SN: 3/25/20; SN: 4/6/17). 

“In these animals, 60 percent or more of their proteins are actually recoded. This is astonishing in comparison to how [rarely RNA] editing is used in mammals,” molecular biologist Kavita Rangan said December 5 at Cell Bio 2022,

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