Thursday, August 3, 2023

Temperature-induced RNA recoding in octopus

The difficulty in adjusting to the significant seasonal temperature fluctuations in the Pacific Ocean around the southern Californian coast is faced by Octopus bimaculoides. A research by Birk et al. published in Cell examined the effects of temperature on RNA recoding across the neural transcriptome of adult octopuses in order to comprehend the processes behind this acclimatization process. For two to three weeks, the scientists kept octopuses in temperature-controlled aquariums at 13 °C and 22 °C. They discovered that this acclimatization process was greatly aided by RNA editing via adenosine deamination. At 13 °C compared to 22 °C (cold-induced), almost 33% of the recoding locations in the stellate ganglia had greater editing levels. When the temperature changed, these alterations happened quickly within hours and stabilized after four days. Kinesin-1 and synaptotagmin, two brain proteins involved in axonal transport and synaptic transmission, respectively, underwent structural and functional reconfiguration as a result of the cold's induction of RNA editing. The kinetics of Ca2+-binding and these proteins' motility were changed. The study discovered comparable results in populations of wild octopuses collected in the winter and late summer, indicating that closely related species like O. bimaculoides and O. bimaculatus also exhibit cold-induced RNA editing.

This study shows that brain proteome reconfiguration in octopus adaptation to changing environmental circumstances is significantly mediated by temperature-dependent RNA recoding. The study showed that quick and adaptable RNA editing in response to temperature changes alters the structure and function of brain proteins. Further evidence for the evolutionary conservation of this mechanism comes from the discovery of comparable patterns in populations of wild octopuses. The results offer up new lines of inquiry for future studies to investigate if RNA editing can adapt to other environmental changes and what role it can play in the adaptation and survival of diverse creatures encountering comparable difficulties.

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