The members of the ADAR (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA) gene family are involved in site-selective RNA editing that changes adenosine residues of target substrate RNAs to inosine. Analysis of staged chimeric mouse embryos with a high contribution from embryonic stem cells with a functional null allele for ADAR1 revealed a heterozygous embryonic-lethal phenotype. Most ADAR1+/- chimeric embryos died before embryonic day 14 with defects in the hematopoietic system. Our results suggest the importance of regulated levels of ADAR1 expression, which is critical for embryonic erythropoiesis in the liver.
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