@ Tel Aviv University, Israel
An alternate route to complexity: Trade-off between transcriptome plasticity and genome evolution in cephalopods
RNA editing by adenosine deamination is well-positioned to diversify proteomes, but it is infrequently used for this purpose. We show that extensive recoding by RNA editing is an invention of the behaviorally sophisticated coleoid cephalopods, with tens of thousands of evolutionarily conserved sites, enriched in the nervous system and targets excitability and neuronal morphology. Due to the large number of sites, the surrounding conservation greatly reduces the number of mutations and genomic polymorphisms that accumulate in protein coding regions. This trade-off between genome evolution and transcriptome plasticity highlights the importance of RNA recoding as a novel strategy for neural complexity.