EBV epitranscriptome reprogramming by METTL14 is critical for viral-associated tumorigenesis.
ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous oncogenic virus that induces many cancers. N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) modification regulates many cellular processes. We explored the role of m6A in EBV gene regulation and associated cancers. We have comprehensively defined m6A modification of EBV latent and lytic transcripts. Furthermore, m6A modification demonstrated a functional role in regulation of the stability of viral transcripts. The methyltransferase METTL14 was induced at the transcript and protein levels, and knock-down of METTL14 led to decreased expression of latent EBV transcripts. METTL14 was also significantly induced in EBV-positive tumors, promoted growth of EBV-transformed cells and tumors in Xenograft animal models. Mechanistically, the viral-encoded latent oncoprotein EBNA3C activated transcription of METTL14, and directly interacted with METTL14 to promote its stability. This demonstrated that EBV hijacks METTL14 to drive EBV-mediated tumorigenesis. METTL14 is now a new target for development of therapeutics for treatment of EBV-associated cancers.
Project description:Spermatogenesis is a differentiation process during which diploid spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) produce haploid spermatozoa. This highly specialized process is precisely controlled at the transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and translational levels. Here we report that N6-methyladenosine (m6A), an epitranscriptomic mark regulating gene expression, plays essential roles during spermatogenesis. We present comprehensive m6A mRNA methylomes of mouse spermatogenic cells from five developmental stages: undifferentiated spermatogonia, type A1 spermatogonia, preleptotene spermatocytes, pachytene/diplotene spermatocytes, and round spermatids. Germ cell-specific inactivation of the m6A RNA methyltransferase Mettl3 or Mettl14 with Vasa-Cre causes loss of m6A and depletion of SSCs. m6A depletion dysregulates translation of transcripts that are required for SSC proliferation/differentiation. Combined deletion of Mettl3 and Mettl14 in advanced germ cells with Stra8-GFPCre disrupts spermiogenesis, whereas mice with single deletion of either Mettl3 or Mettl14 in advanced germ cells show normal spermatogenesis. The spermatids from double-mutant mice exhibit impaired translation of haploid-specific genes that are essential for spermiogenesis. This study highlights crucial roles of mRNA m6A modification in germline development, potentially ensuring coordinated translation at different stages of spermatogenesis.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation is the most prevalent modification of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and catalyzed by a multicomponent methyltransferase complex (MTC), among which methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) and METTL14 are two core molecules. However, METTL3 and METTL14 play opposite regulatory roles in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, we conducted a multi-omics analysis of METTL3 and METTL14 in HCC, including RNA-sequencing, m6ARIP-sequencing, and ribosome-sequencing profiles. We found that the expression and prognostic value of METTL3 and METTL14 are opposite in HCC. Besides, after METTL3 and METTL14 knockdown, most of the dysregulated mRNAs, signaling pathways and biological processes are distinct in HCC, which partly explains the contrary regulatory role of METTL3 and METTL14. Intriguingly, these mRNAs whose stability or translation efficiency are influenced by METTL3 or METTL14 in an m6A dependent manner, jointly regulate multiple signaling pathways and biological processes, which supports the cooperative role of METTL3 and METTL14 in catalyzing m6A modification. In conclusion, our study further clarified the contradictory role of METTL3 and METTL14 in HCC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human cancers. N6-methyladenosine (m6A), a common eukaryotic mRNA modification, plays critical roles in both physiological and pathological processes. However, its role in pancreatic cancer remains elusive. METHODS:LC/MS was used to profile m6A levels in pancreatic cancer and normal tissues. Bioinformatics analysis, real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting were used to identify the role of m6A regulators in pancreatic cancer. The biological effects of methyltransferase-like 14 (METTL14), an mRNA methylase, were investigated using in vitro and in vivo models. MeRIP-Seq and RNA-Seq were used to assess the downstream targets of METTL14. RESULTS:We found that the m6A levels were elevated in approximately 70% of the pancreatic cancer samples. Furthermore, we demonstrated that METTL14 is the major enzyme that modulates m6A methylation (frequency and site of methylation). METTL14 overexpression markedly promoted pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and migration both in vitro and in vivo, via direct targeting of the downstream PERP mRNA (p53 effector related to PMP-22) in an m6A-dependent manner. Methylation of the target adenosine lead to increased PERP mRNA turnover, thus decreasing PERP (mRNA and protein) levels in pancreatic cancer cells. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that the upregulation of METTL14 leads to the decrease of PERP levels via m6A modification, promoting the growth and metastasis of pancreatic cancer; therefore METTL14 is a potential therapeutic target for its treatment.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most prevalent internal modification in eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs), plays critical roles in many bioprocesses. However, its functions in normal and malignant hematopoiesis remain elusive. Here, we report that METTL14, a key component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, is highly expressed in normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells carrying t(11q23), t(15;17), or t(8;21) and is downregulated during myeloid differentiation. Silencing of METTL14 promotes terminal myeloid differentiation of normal HSPCs and AML cells and inhibits AML cell survival/proliferation. METTL14 is required for development and maintenance of AML and self-renewal of leukemia stem/initiation cells (LSCs/LICs). Mechanistically, METTL14 exerts its oncogenic role by regulating its mRNA targets (e.g., MYB and MYC) through m6A modification, while the protein itself is negatively regulated by SPI1. Collectively, our results reveal the SPI1-METTL14-MYB/MYC signaling axis in myelopoiesis and leukemogenesis and highlight the critical roles of METTL14 and m6A modification in normal and malignant hematopoiesis.
Project description:The kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) with poor prognosis is the main histological subtype of the renal cell carcinoma, accounting for 80-90% of patients. Currently, the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) epitranscriptional modification draws much attention. The m6A RNA modification, the most plentiful internal modification of mRNAs and noncoding RNAs in the majority of eukaryotes, regulates mRNAs at different levels and is involved in disease occurrence and progression. The GTExPortal and TCGAportal were applied to investigate the METTL14 mRNA expression in different tissues and KIRC stages. The Human Protein Atlas was used to verify the location of METTL14 in KIRC tissues. The main microRNAs (miRNAs) related to KIRC were analyzed using OncoLnc and starBase, while corresponding circular RNAs (circRNAs) interacting with miRNAs were predicted via circBank; then, the METTL14-miRNA-circRNA interaction network was established. The level of methyltransferase-like 14 (METTL14) mRNA was significantly lower in KIRC tissues compared with normal kidney tissues, which was relative to clinical and pathological stages. circRNAs may regulate METTL14 mRNA as miRNAs sponge to affect the KIRC progression. METTL14 mRNA is likely to regulate PTEN mRNA expression via changing its m6A RNA modification level. METTL14 mRNA expression negatively correlated with the KIRC stages and positively correlated with KIRC patients' overall survival, which has great potential to serve as a clinical biomarker in KIRC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of tumor-related death worldwide, and its main cause of death is distant metastasis. Methyltransferase-like 14(METTL14), a major RNA N6-adenosine methyltransferase, is involved in tumor progression via regulating RNA function. The goal of the study is to uncover the biological function and molecular mechanism of METTL14 in CRC. METHODS:Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), western blot and immunohistochemical (IHC) assays were employed to detect METTL14 and SOX4 in CRC cell lines and tissues. The biological functions of METTL14 were demonstrated using in vitro and in vivo experiments. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), Transcrptomic RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), m6A-RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-Seq), RNA immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays were used to explore the mechanism of METTL14 action. RESULTS:METTL14 expression was significantly downregulated in CRC and decreased METTL14 was associated with poor overall survival (OS). Both the univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that METTL14 was an independent prognostic factor in CRC. Moreover, lysine-specific histone demethylase 5C(KDM5C)-mediated demethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 tri-methylation(H3K4me3) in the promoter of METTL14 inhibited METTL14 transcription. Functionally, we verified that METTL14 inhibited CRC cells migration, invasion and metastasis through in vitro and in vivo assays, respectively. Furthermore, we identified SRY-related high-mobility-group box 4(SOX4) as a target of METTL14-mediated m6A modification. Knockdown of METTL14 markedly abolished SOX4 mRNA m6A modification and elevated SOX4 mRNA expression. We also revealed that METTL14-mediated SOX4 mRNA degradation relied on the YTHDF2-dependent pathway. Lastly, we demonstrated that METTL14 might inhibit CRC malignant process partly through SOX4-mediated EMT process and PI3K/Akt signals. CONCLUSIONS:Decreased METTL14 facilitates tumor metastasis in CRC, suggesting that METTL14 might be a potential prognostic biomarker and effective therapeutic target for CRC.
Project description:Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer?related death among women worldwide. Evidence indicates that posttranscriptional N6?methyladenosine (m6A) modification modulates BC development. In the present study, we assessed BC and normal tissues to investigate this connection. RNA m6A levels were determined by methylation quantification assay. The effects of methyltransferase?like 14 (METTL14) gain?of?expression or co?transfection with an m6A inhibitor on cell migration and invasion abilities were determined by Transwell assays. The levels of differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs were verified by real?time quantitative PCR (RT?qPCR). Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses (KEGG) were performed to analyze potential function of target genes of the DE miRNAs. The effects of candidate miRNAs modulated by METTL14 on cell migration and invasion abilities were confirmed by Transwell assays. We demonstrated that m6A methyltransferase METTL14 was significantly upregulated in BC tissues compared with normal tissues. METTL14 gain? and loss?of?expression regulated m6A levels in MCF?7 and MDA?MB?231 cells. The cell function assays revealed that METTL14 overexpression enhanced the migration and invasion capacities of BC cells. Moreover, treatment with the m6A inhibitor suppressed this enhanced cell migration and invasion. Additionally, aberrant expression of METTL14 reshaped the miRNA profile in BC cell lines. The remodeled DE miRNA/mRNA network was found to be most enriched in cancer pathways, and DE miRNAs were enriched in cell adhesion terms. hsa?miR?146a?5p modulated by METTL14 promoted cell migration and invasion. METTL14 modulates m6A modification and hsa?miR?146a?5p expression, thereby affecting the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells.
Project description:N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common and abundant mRNA modification that involves regulating the RNA metabolism. However, the role of m6A in regulating the ?-cell function is unclear. Methyltransferase-like 14 (METTL14) is a key component of the m6A methyltransferase complex. To define the role of m6A in regulating the ?-cell function, we generated ?-cell METTL14-specific knockout (?KO) mice by tamoxifen administration. Acute deletion of Mettl14 in ?-cells results in glucose intolerance as a result of a reduction in insulin secretion in ?-cells even though ?-cell mass is increased, which is related to increased ?-cell proliferation. To define the molecular mechanism, we performed RNA sequencing to detect the gene expression in ?KO islets. The genes responsible for endoplasmic reticulum stress, such as Ire1?, were among the top upregulated genes. Both mRNA and protein levels of IRE1? and spliced X-box protein binding 1 (sXBP-1) were increased in ?KO islets. The protein levels of proinsulin and insulin were decreased in ?KO islets. These results suggest that acute METTL14 deficiency in ?-cells induces glucose intolerance by increasing the IRE1?/sXBP-1 pathway.
Project description:N6-methyladenine (m6A) is found on many eukaryotic RNAs including mRNAs. m6A modification has been implicated in mRNA stability and turnover, localization, or translation efficiency. A heterodimeric enzyme complex composed of METTL3 and METTL14 generates m6A on mRNAs. METTL3/14 is found in the nucleus where it is localized to nuclear speckles and the splicing regulator WTAP is required for this distinct nuclear localization pattern. Although recent crystal structures revealed how the catalytic MT-A70 domains of METTL3 and METTL14 interact with each other, a more global architecture including WTAP and RNA interactions has not been reported so far. Here, we used recombinant proteins and mapped binding surfaces within the METTL3/14-WTAP complex. Furthermore, we identify nuclear localization signals and identify phosphorylation sites on the endogenous proteins. Using an in vitro methylation assay, we confirm that monomeric METTL3 is soluble and inactive while the catalytic center of METTL14 is degenerated and thus also inactive. In addition, we show that the C-terminal RGG repeats of METTL14 are required for METTL3/14 activity by contributing to RNA substrate binding. Our biochemical work identifies characteristic features of METTL3/14-WTAP and reveals novel insight into the overall architecture of this important enzyme complex.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) regulates mRNA metabolism and translation, serving as an important source of post-transcriptional regulation. To date, the functional consequences of m6A deficiency within the adult brain have not been determined. To achieve m6A deficiency, we deleted Mettl14, an essential component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, in two related yet discrete mouse neuronal populations: striatonigral and striatopallidal. Mettl14 deletion reduced striatal m6A levels without altering cell numbers or morphology. Transcriptome-wide profiling of m6A-modified mRNAs in Mettl14-deleted striatum revealed downregulation of similar striatal mRNAs encoding neuron- and synapse-specific proteins in both neuronal types, but striatonigral and striatopallidal identity genes were uniquely downregulated in each respective manipulation. Upregulated mRNA species encoded non-neuron-specific proteins. These changes increased neuronal excitability, reduced spike frequency adaptation, and profoundly impaired striatal-mediated behaviors. Using viral-mediated, neuron-specific striatal Mettl14 deletion in adult mice, we further confirmed the significance of m6A in maintaining normal striatal function in the adult mouse.