RNAs encoding subunits of glutamate-gated ion channel receptors are posttranscriptionally modified by RNA editing and alternative splicing. The change in amino acid sequence caused by RNA editing can affect both the kinetics and the permeability of the ion channel receptors to cations. Here, we report the purification of a 90-kDa double-stranded RNA-specific adenosine deaminase from HeLa cell nuclear extract that specifically edits the glutamine codon at position 586 in the pre-mRNA of the glutamate receptor B subunit. Site-specific deamination of an adenosine to an inosine converts the glutamine codon to that of arginine. Recently, a gene encoding a double-stranded-specific editase (RED1) was cloned from a rat brain cDNA library. Antibodies generated against the deaminase domain of its human homolog specifically recognized and inhibited the activity of the 90-kDa enzyme, indicating that we have purified hRED1 the human homolog of rat RED1. This enzyme is distinct from double-stranded RNA-specific adenosine deaminase which we and others have previously purified and cloned.