ADARs catalyze adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) editing of double-stranded RNA and regulate global gene expression output through interactions with RNA and other proteins. ADARs play important roles in development and disease, and previous work has shown that ADAR1 is oncogenic in a growing list of cancer types. Here we show that ADAR1 is a critical gene for triple-negative breast cancer cells, as ADAR1 loss results in reduced growth (viability and cell cycle progression), invasion, and mammosphere formation. Whole transcriptome sequencing analyses demonstrate that ADAR1 regulates both coding and noncoding targets by altering gene expression level, A-to-I editing, and splicing. We determine that a recoding edit in filamin B (FLNB chr3:58156064) reduces the tumor suppressive activities of the protein to promote growth and invasion. We also show that several tumor suppressor miRNAs are upregulated upon ADAR1 loss and suppress cell-cycle progression and invasion. This work describes several novel mechanisms of ADAR1-mediated oncogenesis in triple-negative breast cancer, providing support to strategies targeting ADAR1 in this aggressive cancer type that has few treatment options.

Implications:

Targeting ADAR1 and thus downstream FLNB editing and miRNA regulation represents a possible novel therapeutic strategy in triple-negative breast cancer.

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