With deep sorrow we inform the greater research community that Professor Marie Öhman passed away on February 3, 2019. Her death was the consequence of an aggressive form of colon cancer, first diagnosed in latter half of June 2018. Subsequent attempts to combat the disease failed. Clearly, her passing came much too early in life; Marie would have turned 55 at the end of March. She left this world riding high on recent successes. Her research was well funded and she has a suit of recent publications derived from an active research group currently comprised of a senior researcher and three talented doctoral students.

Scientifically, Marie was a respected and talented researcher with an internationally leading role in the field of RNA biology. The focus of her research was directed at understanding the physiological consequences of adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing. A-to-I editing has the power to recode mRNAs, and has the potential to change the sequence of non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs. Editing has garnered growing attention due to its fundamental importance in the regulation of neurotransmission. The cutting-edge research carried out in the Öhman laboratory addresses the regulation and function of RNA editing in neurons, and her research group has made significant contributions regarding the role of editing in brain development and neuronal activity.

Marie’s colleagues, at the Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute (MBW) and the biology departments at Stockholm University, remember Marie for her intense interest in science, her great knowledge as a molecular biologist, and her enthusiasm as a teacher. Marie was an exceptional colleague and friend to many, and she will be deeply missed. Her passing leaves a huge void for us here in Stockholm and the RNA research community.

Our condolences go out to Marie’s family, her two sons and husband, along with her brother and extended family.


RNA editing in the mammalian brain

In recent years proofs of the eukaryotic messenger RNA as a target for gene regulation and sequence alteration has vastly expanded. New technologies such as high throughput sequencing of entire transcriptomes have revealed that alternative RNA processing events are used to increase the diversity of the proteome to a much larger extent than previously anticipated. By alternative splicing, alternative polyadenylation and RNA editing the possibilities to diversify and regulate the RNA population are almost infinite. In addition an increasing number of non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs, have been discovered to contribute to tissue specific and developmentally regulated transcriptome variation.

Our research is focused on functional consequences of adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, the most common type of editing in mammals. This RNA processing event is catalyzed by the ADAR enzymes, converting A-to-I within double-stranded or highly structured RNA. Since inosine is recognized as guanosine by the cellular machineries, A-to-I editing has the power to recode mRNAs and also change the sequence of non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs. Most recoding sites of editing have been found in transcripts important for neurotransmission, and a number of brain specific microRNA are also edited. We are therefore particularly interested in the function of RNA editing in neurons and in understanding how editing contributes to the variety of the transcriptome during brain development and neuronal stimulation.



RNA editing/RNA processing/ADAR/microRNA/neuron.


ADAR1 (red) in primary cortical neurons.
ADAR1 (red) in primary cortical neurons.


Selected publications

Behm M, Wahlstedt H, Widmark A, Eriksson M, Öhman M (2017) Accumulation of nuclear ADAR2 regulates adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing during neuronal development. J Cell Sci 130:745-753.

Daniel C, Widmark A, Rigardt D, Öhman M (2017) Editing inducer elements increases A-to-I editing efficiency in the mammalian transcriptome Genome Biol. 18(1):195.

Daniel, C. Silberberg, G. Behm, M. Öhman, M. (2014) Alu elements shape the primate transcriptome by cis-regulation of RNA editing. Genome Biol. 15(2):R28.

Daniel, C., Venö, M., Ekdahl, Y., Kjems, J., & Öhman, M. (2012). A distant cis acting intronic element induces site-selective RNA editing. Nucleic Acids Res. 40(19):9876-86.

Ekdahl, Y., Farahani, H.S., Behm, M., Lagergren, J., & Öhman, M. (2012). A-to-I editing of microRNAs in the mammalian brain increases during development. Genome Res. 22(8):1477-87.

Silberberg, G., Lundin, D., Navon, R., & Öhman, M. (2012). Deregulation of the A-to-I RNA editing mechanism in psychiatric disorders. Human Molecular Genetics. 21(2):311-321.

See all publications

(Link to Researcher ID)