A-to-I (adenosine-to-inosine) RNA editing catalysed by the ADARs (adenosine deaminases that act on RNA) is a post-transcriptional event that contributes to protein diversity in metazoans. In mammalian neuronal ion channels, editing alters functionally important amino acids and creates receptor subtypes important for the development of the nervous system. The excitatory AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) and kainate glutamate receptors, as well as the inhibitory GABAA [GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) type A] receptor, are subject to A-to-I RNA editing. Editing affects several features of the receptors, including kinetics, subunit assembly and cell-surface expression. Here, we discuss the regulation of editing during brain maturation and the impact of RNA editing on the expression of different receptor subtypes.

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