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      The role of m6A modification in the biological functions and diseases


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          N 6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent, abundant and conserved internal cotranscriptional modification in eukaryotic RNAs, especially within higher eukaryotic cells. m6A modification is modified by the m6A methyltransferases, or writers, such as METTL3/14/16, RBM15/15B, ZC3H3, VIRMA, CBLL1, WTAP, and KIAA1429, and, removed by the demethylases, or erasers, including FTO and ALKBH5. It is recognized by m6A-binding proteins YTHDF1/2/3, YTHDC1/2 IGF2BP1/2/3 and HNRNPA2B1, also known as “readers”. Recent studies have shown that m6A RNA modification plays essential role in both physiological and pathological conditions, especially in the initiation and progression of different types of human cancers. In this review, we discuss how m6A RNA methylation influences both the physiological and pathological progressions of hematopoietic, central nervous and reproductive systems. We will mainly focus on recent progress in identifying the biological functions and the underlying molecular mechanisms of m6A RNA methylation, its regulators and downstream target genes, during cancer progression in above systems. We propose that m6A RNA methylation process offer potential targets for cancer therapy in the future.

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          Topology of the human and mouse m6A RNA methylomes revealed by m6A-seq.

          An extensive repertoire of modifications is known to underlie the versatile coding, structural and catalytic functions of RNA, but it remains largely uncharted territory. Although biochemical studies indicate that N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most prevalent internal modification in messenger RNA, an in-depth study of its distribution and functions has been impeded by a lack of robust analytical methods. Here we present the human and mouse m(6)A modification landscape in a transcriptome-wide manner, using a novel approach, m(6)A-seq, based on antibody-mediated capture and massively parallel sequencing. We identify over 12,000 m(6)A sites characterized by a typical consensus in the transcripts of more than 7,000 human genes. Sites preferentially appear in two distinct landmarks--around stop codons and within long internal exons--and are highly conserved between human and mouse. Although most sites are well preserved across normal and cancerous tissues and in response to various stimuli, a subset of stimulus-dependent, dynamically modulated sites is identified. Silencing the m(6)A methyltransferase significantly affects gene expression and alternative splicing patterns, resulting in modulation of the p53 (also known as TP53) signalling pathway and apoptosis. Our findings therefore suggest that RNA decoration by m(6)A has a fundamental role in regulation of gene expression.
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            Comprehensive analysis of mRNA methylation reveals enrichment in 3' UTRs and near stop codons.

            Methylation of the N(6) position of adenosine (m(6)A) is a posttranscriptional modification of RNA with poorly understood prevalence and physiological relevance. The recent discovery that FTO, an obesity risk gene, encodes an m(6)A demethylase implicates m(6)A as an important regulator of physiological processes. Here, we present a method for transcriptome-wide m(6)A localization, which combines m(6)A-specific methylated RNA immunoprecipitation with next-generation sequencing (MeRIP-Seq). We use this method to identify mRNAs of 7,676 mammalian genes that contain m(6)A, indicating that m(6)A is a common base modification of mRNA. The m(6)A modification exhibits tissue-specific regulation and is markedly increased throughout brain development. We find that m(6)A sites are enriched near stop codons and in 3' UTRs, and we uncover an association between m(6)A residues and microRNA-binding sites within 3' UTRs. These findings provide a resource for identifying transcripts that are substrates for adenosine methylation and reveal insights into the epigenetic regulation of the mammalian transcriptome. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              N6-Methyladenosine in Nuclear RNA is a Major Substrate of the Obesity-Associated FTO

              We report here that FTO (fat mass and obesity-associated protein) exhibits efficient oxidative demethylation activity of abundant N 6-methyladenosine (m6A) residues in RNA in vitro. FTO knockdown with siRNA led to an increased level of m6A in mRNA, whereas overexpression of FTO resulted in a decreased level of m6A in human cells. We further show that FTO partially colocalizes with nuclear speckles, supporting m6A in nuclear RNA as a physiological substrate of FTO.

                Author and article information

                Signal Transduct Target Ther
                Signal Transduct Target Ther
                Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                21 February 2021
                21 February 2021
                : 6
                : 74
                [1 ]GRID grid.419010.d, ISNI 0000 0004 1792 7072, Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanisms of Chinese Academy of Sciences & Yunnan Province, Kunming Institute of Zoology, ; 650223 Kunming, Yunnan China
                [2 ]GRID grid.410726.6, ISNI 0000 0004 1797 8419, Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, ; 100049 Beijing, China
                [3 ]GRID grid.285847.4, ISNI 0000 0000 9588 0960, Kunming Medical University, ; 650500 Kunming, China
                [4 ]GRID grid.9227.e, ISNI 0000000119573309, Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, ; 650223 Kunming, Yunnan China
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 6 September 2020
                : 9 December 2020
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2021

                cancer,molecular biology
                cancer, molecular biology


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