M6A RNA Methylation Is Regulated by MicroRNAs and Promotes Reprogramming to Pluripotency
ABSTRACT: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been recently identified as a conserved epitranscriptomic modification of eukaryotic mRNAs, but its features, regulatory mechanisms, and functions in cell reprogramming are largely unknown. Here, we report m6A modification profiles in the mRNA transcriptomes of four cell types with different degrees of pluripotency. Comparative analysis reveals several features of m6A, especially gene- and cell-type-specific m6A mRNA modifications. We also show that microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate m6A modification via a sequence pairing mechanism. Manipulation of miRNA expression or sequences alters m6A modification levels through modulating the binding of METTL3 methyltransferase to mRNAs containing miRNA targeting sites. Increased m6A abundance promotes the reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to pluripotent stem cells; conversely, reduced m6A levels impede reprogramming. Our results therefore uncover a role for miRNAs in regulating m6A formation of mRNAs and provide a foundation for future functional studies of m6A modification in cell reprogramming. m6A-seq in ESC, iPSC, NSC and sertoli cells.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been recently identified as a conserved epitranscriptomic modification of eukaryotic mRNAs, but its features, regulatory mechanisms, and functions in cell reprogramming are largely unknown. Here, we report m6A modification profiles in the mRNA transcriptomes of four cell types with different degrees of pluripotency. Comparative analysis reveals several features of m6A, especially gene- and cell-type-specific m6A mRNA modifications. We also show that microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate m6A modification via a sequence pairing mechanism. Manipulation of miRNA expression or sequences alters m6A modification levels through modulating the binding of METTL3 methyltransferase to mRNAs containing miRNA targeting sites. Increased m6A abundance promotes the reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to pluripotent stem cells; conversely, reduced m6A levels impede reprogramming. Our results therefore uncover a role for miRNAs in regulating m6A formation of mRNAs and provide a foundation for future functional studies of m6A modification in cell reprogramming. m6A-seq in ESC, iPSC, NSC and sertoli cells.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A), installed by the Mettl3/Mettl14 methyltransferase complex, is the most prevalent internal mRNA modification. Whether m6A regulates mammalian brain development is unknown. Here, we show that m6A depletion by Mettl14 knockout in embryonic mouse brains prolongs the cell cycle of radial glia cells and extends cortical neurogenesis into postnatal stages. m6A depletion by Mettl3 knockdown also leads to a prolonged cell cycle and maintenance of radial glia cells. m6A sequencing of embryonic mouse cortex reveals enrichment of mRNAs related to transcription factors, neurogenesis, the cell cycle, and neuronal differentiation, and m6A tagging promotes their decay. Further analysis uncovers previously unappreciated transcriptional prepatterning in cortical neural stem cells. m6A signaling also regulates human cortical neurogenesis in forebrain organoids. Comparison of m6A-mRNA landscapes between mouse and human cortical neurogenesis reveals enrichment of human-specific m6A tagging of transcripts related to brain-disorder risk genes. Our study identifies an epitranscriptomic mechanism in heightened transcriptional coordination during mammalian cortical neurogenesis.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant epigenetic modification in eukaryotic mRNAs and is essential for multiple RNA processing events during mammalian development and disease control. Here we show that conditional knockout of the m6A methyltransferase Mettl3 in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) induces pathological features of osteoporosis in mice. Mettl3 loss-of-function results in impaired bone formation, incompetent osteogenic differentiation potential and increased marrow adiposity. Moreover, Mettl3 overexpression in MSCs protects the mice from estrogen deficiency-induced osteoporosis. Mechanistically, we identify PTH (parathyroid hormone)/Pth1r (parathyroid hormone receptor-1) signaling axis as an important downstream pathway for m6A regulation in MSCs. Knockout of Mettl3 reduces the translation efficiency of MSCs lineage allocator Pth1r, and disrupts the PTH-induced osteogenic and adipogenic responses in vivo. Our results demonstrate the pathological outcomes of m6A mis-regulation in MSCs and unveil novel epitranscriptomic mechanism in skeletal health and diseases.
Project description:The methyltransferase like 3 (METTL3) is a key component of the large N6-adenosine-methyltransferase complex in mammalian responsible for N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in diverse RNAs including mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, small nuclear RNA, microRNA precursor and long non-coding RNA. However, the characteristics of METTL3 in activation and post-translational modification (PTM) is seldom understood. Here we find that METTL3 is modified by SUMO1 mainly at lysine residues K177, K211, K212 and K215, which can be reduced by an SUMO1-specific protease SENP1. SUMOylation of METTL3 does not alter its stability, localization and interaction with METTL14 and WTAP, but significantly represses its m6A methytransferase activity resulting in the decrease of m6A levels in mRNAs. Consistently with this, the abundance of m6A in mRNAs is increased with re-expression of the mutant METTL3-4KR compared to that of wild-type METTL3 in human non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell line H1299-shMETTL3, in which endogenous METTL3 was knockdown. The alternation of m6A in mRNAs and subsequently change of gene expression profiles, which are mediated by SUMOylation of METTL3, may directly influence the soft-agar colony formation and xenografted tumor growth of H1299 cells. Our results uncover an important mechanism for SUMOylation of METTL3 regulating its m6A RNA methyltransferase activity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the third most common cancer and second most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) N6-methyladnosine (m6A) and methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) play key roles in cancer progression. However, the roles of m6A and METTL3 in CRC progression require further clarification.<h4>Methods</h4>Adenoma and CRC samples were examined to detect m6A and METTL3 levels, and tissue microarrays were performed to evaluate the association of m6A and METTL3 levels with the survival of patients with CRC. The biological functions of METTL3 were investigated through cell counting kit-8, wound healing, and transwell assays. M6A epitranscriptomic microarray, methylated RNA immunoprecipitation-qPCR, RNA stability, luciferase reporter, and RNA immunoprecipitation assays were performed to explore the mechanism of METTL3 in CRC progression.<h4>Results</h4>M6A and METTL3 levels were substantially elevated in CRC tissues, and patients with CRC with a high m6A or METTL3 levels exhibited shorter overall survival. METTL3 knockdown substantially inhibited the proliferation, migration, and invasion of CRC cells. An m6A epitranscriptomic microarray revealed that the cell polarity regulator Crumbs3 (CRB3) was the downstream target of METTL3. METTL3 knockdown substantially reduced the m6A level of CRB3, and inhibited the degradation of CRB3 mRNA to increase CRB3 expression. Luciferase reporter assays also showed that the transcriptional level of wild-type CRB3 significantly increased after METTL3 knockdown but not its level of variation. Knockdown of YT521-B homology domain-containing family protein 2 (YTHDF2) substantially increased CRB3 expression. RNA immunoprecipitation assays also verified the direct interaction between the YTHDF2 and CRB3 mRNA, and this direct interaction was impaired after METTL3 inhibition. In addition, CRB3 knockdown significantly promoted the proliferation, migration, and invasion of CRC cells. Mechanistically, METTL3 knockdown activated the Hippo pathway and reduced nuclear localization of Yes1-associated transcriptional regulator, and the effects were reversed by CRB3 knockdown.<h4>Conclusions</h4>M6A and METTL3 levels were substantially elevated in CRC tissues relative to normal tissues. Patients with CRC with high m6A or METTL3 levels exhibited shorter overall survival, and METTL3 promoted CRC progression. Mechanistically, METTL3 regulated the progression of CRC by regulating the m6A-CRB3-Hippo pathway.
Project description:BACKGROUND:METTL3 is known to be involved in all stages in the life cycle of RNA. It affects the tumor formation by the regulation the m6A modification in the mRNAs of critical oncogenes or tumor suppressors. In bladder cancer, METTL3 could promote the bladder cancer progression via AFF4/NF-?B/MYC signaling network by an m6A dependent manner. Recently, METTL3 was also found to affect the m6A modification in non-coding RNAs including miRNAs, lincRNAs and circRNAs. However, whether this mechanism is related to the proliferation of tumors induced by METTL3 is not reported yet. METHODS:Quantitative real-time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to detect the expression of METTL3 in bladder cancer. The survival analysis was adopted to explore the association between METTL3 expression and the prognosis of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer cells were stably transfected with lentivirus and cell proliferation and cell cycle, as well as tumorigenesis in nude mice were performed to assess the effect of METTL3 in bladder cancer. RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), co-immunoprecipitations and RNA m6A dot blot assays were conducted to confirm that METTL3 interacted with the microprocessor protein DGCR8 and modulated the pri-miR221/222 process in an m6A-dependent manner. Luciferase reporter assay was employed to identify the direct binding sites of miR221/222 with PTEN. Colony formation assay and CCK8 assays were conducted to confirm the function of miR-221/222 in METTL3-induced cell growth in bladder cancer. RESULTS:We confirmed the oncogenic role of METTL3 in bladder cancer by accelerating the maturation of pri-miR221/222, resulting in the reduction of PTEN, which ultimately leads to the proliferation of bladder cancer. Moreover, we found that METTL3 was significantly increased in bladder cancer and correlated with poor prognosis of bladder cancer patients. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggested that METTL3 may have an oncogenic role in bladder cancer through interacting with the microprocessor protein DGCR8 and positively modulating the pri-miR221/222 process in an m6A-dependent manner. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study that METTL3 affected the tumor formation by the regulation the m6A modification in non-coding RNAs, which might provide fresh insights into bladder cancer therapy.
Project description:Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of lymphoma, whose treatment still has a major challenge of achieving a satisfactory curative effect. The underlying mechanisms also have not been fully illustrated. N 6-Methyladenosine (m6A) has been identified as the most prevalent internal modification of mRNAs present in eukaryotes, which is involved in the pathogenesis of cancers. It remains unclear how m6A mRNA methylation is functionally linked to the pathogenesis of DLBCL. In this study, we sought to explore the roles of METTL3 on DLBCL development. The results showed that m6A level for RNA methylation and the expression level of METTL3 were upregulated in DLBCL tissues and cell lines. Functionally, downregulated METTL3 expression in DLBCL cells inhibited the cell proliferation ability. Further mechanism analysis indicated that METTL3 knockdown abates the m6A methylation and total mRNA level of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF). However, Wnt/?-catenin signaling was not thus activated. Overexpressed PEDF abrogates the inhibition of cell proliferation in DLBCL cells that is caused by METTL3 silence. In summary, the above-mentioned results demonstrated that the METTL3 promotes DLBCL progression by regulating the m6A level of PEDF.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation is the most abundant modification on mRNAs and plays important roles in various biological processes. The formation of m6A is catalyzed by a methyltransferase complex including methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) as a key factor. However, the in vivo functions of METTL3 and m6A modification in mammalian development remain unclear. Here, we show that specific inactivation of Mettl3 in mouse nervous system causes severe developmental defects in the brain. Mettl3 conditional knockout (cKO) mice manifest cerebellar hypoplasia caused by drastically enhanced apoptosis of newborn cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) in the external granular layer (EGL). METTL3 depletion-induced loss of m6A modification causes extended RNA half-lives and aberrant splicing events, consequently leading to dysregulation of transcriptome-wide gene expression and premature CGC death. Our findings reveal a critical role of METTL3-mediated m6A in regulating the development of mammalian cerebellum.
Project description:Proper development of mammalian skeletal muscle relies on precise gene expression regulation. Our previous studies revealed that muscle development is regulated by both mRNA and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) plays important roles in various biological processes, making it essential to profile m6A modification on a transcriptome-wide scale in developing muscle. Patterns of m6A methylation in lncRNAs in developing muscle have not been uncovered. Here, we reveal differentially expressed lncRNAs and report temporal m6A methylation patterns in lncRNAs expressed in mouse myoblasts and myotubes by RNA-seq and methylated RNA immunoprecipitation (MeRIP) sequencing. Many lncRNAs exhibit temporal differential expression, and m6A-lncRNAs harbor the consensus m6A motif “DRACH” along lncRNA transcripts. Interestingly, we found that m6A methylation levels of lncRNAs are positively correlated with the transcript abundance of lncRNAs. Overexpression or knockdown of m6A methyltransferase METTL3 alters the expression levels of these lncRNAs. Furthermore, we highlight that the function of m6A genic lncRNAs might correlate to their nearby mRNAs. Our work reveals a fundamental expression reference of m6A-mediated epitranscriptomic modifications in lncRNAs that are temporally expressed in developing muscle.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is an abundant nucleotide modification in mRNA that is required for the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. However, it remains unknown whether the m6A modification controls the differentiation of normal and/or malignant myeloid hematopoietic cells. Here we show that shRNA-mediated depletion of the m6A-forming enzyme METTL3 in human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) promotes cell differentiation, coupled with reduced cell proliferation. Conversely, overexpression of wild-type METTL3, but not of a catalytically inactive form of METTL3, inhibits cell differentiation and increases cell growth. METTL3 mRNA and protein are expressed more abundantly in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells than in healthy HSPCs or other types of tumor cells. Furthermore, METTL3 depletion in human myeloid leukemia cell lines induces cell differentiation and apoptosis and delays leukemia progression in recipient mice in vivo. Single-nucleotide-resolution mapping of m6A coupled with ribosome profiling reveals that m6A promotes the translation of c-MYC, BCL2 and PTEN mRNAs in the human acute myeloid leukemia MOLM-13 cell line. Moreover, loss of METTL3 leads to increased levels of phosphorylated AKT, which contributes to the differentiation-promoting effects of METTL3 depletion. Overall, these results provide a rationale for the therapeutic targeting of METTL3 in myeloid leukemia.