M6A RNA modification and its writer/reader VIRMA/YTHDF3 in testicular germ cell tumors: a role in seminoma phenotype maintenance.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Covalent RNA modifications, such as N-6-methyladenosine (m6A), have been associated with various biological processes, but their role in cancer remains largely unexplored. m6A dynamics depends on specific enzymes whose deregulation may also impact in tumorigenesis. Herein, we assessed the differential abundance of m6A, its writer VIRMA and its reader YTHDF3, in testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), looking for clinicopathological correlates. METHODS:In silico analysis of TCGA data disclosed altered expression of VIRMA (52%) and YTHDF3 (48%), prompting subsequent validation. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from 122 TGCTs (2005-2016) were selected. RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis and real-time qPCR (Taqman assays) for VIRMA and YTHDF3 were performed, as well as immunohistochemistry for VIRMA, YTHDF3 and m6A, for staining intensity assessment. Associations between categorical variables were assessed using Chi square and Fisher's exact test. Distribution of continuous variables between groups was compared using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Biomarker performance was assessed through receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve construction and a cut-off was established by Youden's index method. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. RESULTS:In our cohort, VIRMA and YTHDF3 mRNA expression levels differed among TGCT subtypes, with Seminomas (SEs) depicting higher levels than Non-Seminomatous tumors (NSTs) (p < 0.01 for both). A positive correlation was found between VIRMA and YTHDF3 expression levels. VIRMA discriminated SEs from NSTs with AUC = 0.85 (Sensitivity 77.3%, Specificity 81.1%, PPV 71.6%, NPV 85.3%, Accuracy 79.7%). Immunohistochemistry paralleled transcript findings, as patients with strong m6A immunostaining intensity depicted significantly higher VIRMA mRNA expression levels and stronger VIRMA immunoexpression intensity (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). CONCLUSION:Abundance of m6A and expression of VIRMA/YTHDF3 were different among TGCT subtypes, with higher levels in SEs, suggesting a contribution to SE phenotype maintenance. VIRMA and YTHDF3 might cooperate in m6A establishment in TGCTs, and their transcript levels accurately discriminate between SEs and NSTs, constituting novel candidate biomarkers for patient management.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant HIV RNA modification but the interplay between the m6A reader protein YTHDF3 and HIV replication is not well understood. We found that knockout of YTHDF3 in human CD4+ T-cells increases infection supporting the role of YTHDF3 as a restriction factor. Overexpression of the YTHDF3 protein in the producer cells reduces the infectivity of the newly produced viruses. YTHDF3 proteins are incorporated into HIV particles in a nucleocapsid-dependent manner permitting the m6A reader protein to limit infection in the new target cell at the step of reverse transcription. Importantly, HIV protease cleaves the virion-incorporated full-length YTHDF3 protein, a process which is blocked by HIV protease inhibitors used to treat HIV infected patients. Mass-spectrometry confirmed the proteolytic processing of YTHDF3 in the virion. Thus, HIV protease cleaves the virion-encapsidated host m6A effector protein in addition to the viral polyproteins to ensure optimal infectivity of the mature virion.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification in eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and plays important roles in cell differentiation and tissue development. It regulates multiple steps throughout the RNA life cycle including RNA processing, translation, and decay, via the recognition by selective binding proteins. In the cytoplasm, m6A binding protein YTHDF1 facilitates translation of m6A-modified mRNAs, and YTHDF2 accelerates the decay of m6A-modified transcripts. The biological function of YTHDF3, another cytoplasmic m6A binder of the YTH (YT521-B homology) domain family, remains unknown. Here, we report that YTHDF3 promotes protein synthesis in synergy with YTHDF1, and affects methylated mRNA decay mediated through YTHDF2. Cells deficient in all three YTHDF proteins experience the most dramatic accumulation of m6A-modified transcripts. These results indicate that together with YTHDF1 and YTHDF2, YTHDF3 plays critical roles to accelerate metabolism of m6A-modified mRNAs in the cytoplasm. All three YTHDF proteins may act in an integrated and cooperative manner to impact fundamental biological processes related to m6A RNA methylation.
Project description:IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) are essential effectors of the IFN-dependent antiviral immune response. Dysregulation of ISG expression can cause dysfunctional antiviral responses and autoimmune disorders. Epitranscriptomic regulation, such as N 6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of mRNAs, plays key roles in diverse biological processes. Here, we found that the m6A "reader" YT521-B homology domain-containing family 3 (YTHDF3) suppresses ISG expression under basal conditions by promoting translation of the transcription corepressor forkhead box protein O3 (FOXO3). YTHDF3 cooperates with two cofactors, PABP1 and eIF4G2, to promote FOXO3 translation by binding to the translation initiation region of FOXO3 mRNA. Both the YTH and the P/Q/N-rich domains of YTHDF3 were required for FOXO3 RNA-binding capacity, however, METTL3-mediated m6A modification was not involved in the process observed. Moreover, YTHDF3-/- mice had increased ISG levels and were resistant to several viral infections. Our findings uncover the role of YTHDF3 as a negative regulator of antiviral immunity through the translational promotion of FOXO3 mRNA under homeostatic conditions, adding insight into the networks of RNA-binding protein-RNA interactions in homeostatically maintaining host antiviral immune function and preventing inflammatory response.
Project description:BACKGROUND:YAP activation is crucial for cancer development including colorectal cancer (CRC). Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) modified transcripts of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) can regulate YAP activation in cancer progression. We investigated the functional link between lncRNAs and the m6A modification in YAP signaling and CRC progression. METHODS:YAP interacting lncRNAs were screened by RIP-sequencing, RNA FISH and immunofluorescence co-staining assays. Interaction between YAP and lncRNA GAS5 was studied by biochemical methods. MeRIP-sequencing combined with lncRNA-sequencing were used to identify the m6A modified targets of YTHDF3 in CRC. Gain-of-function and Loss-of-function analysis were performed to measure the function of GAS5-YAP-YTHDF3 axis in CRC progression in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS:GAS5 directly interacts with WW domain of YAP to facilitate translocation of endogenous YAP from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and promotes phosphorylation and subsequently ubiquitin-mediated degradation of YAP to inhibit CRC progression in vitro and in vivo. Notably, we demonstrate the m6A reader YTHDF3 not only a novel target of YAP but also a key player in YAP signaling by facilitating m6A-modified lncRNA GAS5 degradation, which profile a new insight into CRC progression. Clinically, lncRNA GAS5 expressions is negatively correlated with YAP and YTHDF3 protein levels in tumors from CRC patients. CONCLUSIONS:Our study uncovers a negative functional loop of lncRNA GAS5-YAP-YTHDF3 axis, and identifies a new mechanism for m6A-induced decay of GAS5 on YAP signaling in progression of CRC which may offer a promising approach for CRC treatment.
Project description:RNA methylation at position N6 in adenosine (m6A) and its associated methyltransferase complex (MTC) are involved in tumorigenesis. We aimed to explore m6A biological function for long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in prostate cancer (PCa) and its clinical significance. m6A and MTC levels in PCa cells were characterized by ELISA and western blot. Putative m6A-regulated lncRNAs were identified and validated by lncRNA profiler qPCR array and bioinformatics analysis, followed by m6A/RNA co-immunoprecipitation. Impact of m6A depletion on RNA stability was assessed by Actinomycin D assay. The association of m6A-levels with PCa prognosis was examined in clinical samples. Higher m6A-levels and VIRMA overexpression were detected in metastatic castration-resistant PCa (mCRPC) cells (p < 0.05). VIRMA knockdown in PC-3 cells significantly decreased m6A-levels (p = 0.0317), attenuated malignant phenotype and suppressed the expression of oncogenic lncRNAs CCAT1 and CCAT2 (p < 0.00001). VIRMA depletion and m6A reduction decreased the stability and abundance of CCAT1/2 transcripts. Higher expression of VIRMA, CCAT1, and CCAT2 as a group variable was an independent predictor of poor prognosis (HR = 9.083, CI95% 1.911-43.183, p = 0.006). VIRMA is a critical factor sustaining m6A-levels in PCa cells. VIRMA downregulation attenuates the aggressive phenotype of PCa by overall reduction of m6A-levels decreasing stability and abundance of oncogenic lncRNAs.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is enriched in 3'untranslated region (3'UTR) and near stop codon of mature polyadenylated mRNAs in mammalian systems and has regulatory roles in eukaryotic mRNA transcriptome switch. Significantly, the mechanism for this modification preference remains unknown, however. Herein we report a characterization of the full m6A methyltransferase complex in HeLa cells identifying METTL3/METTL14/WTAP/VIRMA/HAKAI/ZC3H13 as the key components, and we show that VIRMA mediates preferential mRNA methylation in 3'UTR and near stop codon. Biochemical studies reveal that VIRMA recruits the catalytic core components METTL3/METTL14/WTAP to guide region-selective methylations. Around 60% of VIRMA mRNA immunoprecipitation targets manifest strong m6A enrichment in 3'UTR. Depletions of VIRMA and METTL3 induce 3'UTR lengthening of several hundred mRNAs with over 50% targets in common. VIRMA associates with polyadenylation cleavage factors CPSF5 and CPSF6 in an RNA-dependent manner. Depletion of CPSF5 leads to significant shortening of 3'UTR of over 2800 mRNAs, 84% of which are modified with m6A and have increased m6A peak density in 3'UTR and near stop codon after CPSF5 knockdown. Together, our studies provide insights into m6A deposition specificity in 3'UTR and its correlation with alternative polyadenylation.
Project description:Oxaliplatin as a first-line drug frequently causes the chemo-resistance on colorectal cancer (CRC). N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation has been largely acknowledged in multiple biological functions. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the m6A methylation in modulating anticancer drug resistance in CRC are still obscure. In present study, RIP-seq was conducted to investigate the occupancy of N6-methyladenosine RNA binding protein 3 (YTHDF3) served as “readers” that can recognize m6A modification site in HCT116 cells with oxaliplatin resistance (HCT116R). Then, YTHDF3 was knockdown by siRNA in HCT116 cells with oxaliplatin resistance, and RIP-seq was further conducted to investigate m6A methylation of HCT116, HCT116R and HCT116R cells with YTHDF3 knockdown.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation, involved in cancer initiation and progression, is dynamically regulated by the m6A RNA methylation regulators. However, the expression of m6A RNA methylation regulators in ovarian cancer and their correlation with prognosis remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that the 18 central m6A RNA methylation regulators were expressed differently between ovarian cancer (OC) and normal tissues. By applying consensus clustering, all ovarian cancer patient cases can be divided into three subgroups (cluster1/2/3) based on overall expression levels of all 18 m6A RNA methylation regulators. We systematically analyzed the prognostic value of transcription levels of 18 m6A RNA methylation regulators in ovarian cancer and found that insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1), vir like m6A methyltransferase associated (VIRMA), and zinc finger CCCH-type containing 13 (ZC3H13) yield the highest scores for predicting the prognosis of ovarian cancer. Accordingly, we derived a risk signature consisting of transcription levels of these three selected m6A RNA methylation regulators as an independent prognostic marker for OC and validated our findings with data derived from a different ovarian cancer cohort. Moreover, by the Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA), we demonstrated that the three selected regulators were all correlated with pathways in cancer and WNT signaling pathways. In conclusion, m6A RNA methylation regulators are vital participants in ovarian cancer pathology; and IGF2BP1, VIRMA, and ZC3H13 mRNA levels are valuable factors for prognosis prediction and treatment strategy development.
Project description:Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms, mostly affecting young men. Curability rates are high and adequate treatment relies on careful and accurate pathological and clinical assessment. Indeed, TGCTs' histopathological subtyping is critical for adequate therapeutic decision. Considering the limitation of currently available serum biomarkers, novel candidates have been proposed, most notably miR-371a-3p, which outperformed classical serum markers, but no detailed information concerning TGCT subtype was available. Thus, we carried out evaluation of miR-371a-3p expression levels among TGCT subtypes using a consecutive cohort of tissue samples. MiR-371a-3p discriminated TGCTs from control tissues with high sensitivity and specificity (AUC = 0.99). Furthermore, seminomas displayed higher miR-371a-3p expression levels compared to non-seminomatous TGCTs, which also showed significant differences among them. Nonetheless, prepubertal TGCTs depicted lower miR-371a-3p expression levels than postpubertal TGCTs. Globally, miR-371a-3p expression levels decreased in parallel with progressive cell differentiation. We concluded that miR-371a-3p is TGCTs-specific and it might be clinically useful for early detection and disease monitoring.This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Frontiers in epigenetic chemical biology'.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal modification in eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and plays important roles in cell differentiation and organism development. It regulates multiple steps throughout the RNA life cycle including RNA processing, translation, and metabolism, via the recognition by selective binding proteins. In cytoplasm, m6A binding protein YTHDF1 facilitates translation of m6A-modified mRNAs, and YTHDF2 accelerates the decay of m6A-modified transcripts. The biological function of YTHDF3, another cytoplasmic m6A binder of the YTH domain family, remains unknown. Here, we report that YTHDF3 promotes protein synthesis in synergy with YTHDF1, and affects methylated mRNA decay mediated by YTHDF2. Cells deficient in all of YTHDF proteins experience the most dramatic accumulation of the m6A-methylated transcripts. These results indicate that in cytoplasm, YTHDF proteins act in an integrated and cooperative network to accelerate metabolism of m6A-modified mRNAs. The combinative and dynamic nature of YTHDF proteins may collectively impact fundamental biological processes and diseases related to m6A RNA methylation. Overall design: We utilized PAR-CLIP triplicates and RIP replicates to identify binding sites and target transcripts of YTHDF3, and performed ribosome profling replicates to assess the consequences of YTHDF3 siRNA knock-down in HeLa cells.