N6-methyladenosine-related Genomic Targets are Altered in Breast Cancer Tissue and Associated with Poor Survival.
ABSTRACT: Purpose: The ectopic expression of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) associated genes is a common feature of multiple tumors. However, little is known about the expression status and the prognostic value of these genes in human breast cancer (BRC). Herein, we conducted a comprehensive analysis to identify the expression profiling and clinical significance of m6A-related genomic targets in BRC. Materials and Methods: The expression data including 1109 BRC tissues and 113 normal breast tissues were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of m6A-related genomic targets. In addition, 6 independent BRCA cohorts retrieved from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database were enrolled to further ascertain the expression profiling of m6A-related genomic targets. Meanwhile, the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining data from BRC tissue microarray (TMA) cohort and the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) database were used to evaluate the proteomic expression of m6A-related genomic targets. Immunofluorescence (IF) analysis was performed to validate the subcellular location of m6A-related genomic targets. Moreover, the prognostic value of m6A-related genomic targets in BRC was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression models. Results: m6A-related genomic targets were differentially expressed in BRC tissues. TMA IHC staining showed that most of the m6A-related genomic targets were significantly altered at the protein level (either upregulated or downregulated), consistent with their changes in the genomic profile. IF analysis showed the subcellular location of m6A-related genomic targets in BRC cell lines. Furthermore, we demonstrated that overexpression of YTHDF1 (P=0.049), YTHDF3 (P<0.001) and KIAA1429 (P=0.032) predicted poor prognosis in terms of overall survival (OS). Upregulation of YTHDF3 was an independent prognostic factor for OS in patients with BRC (P=0.036). Conclusion: m6A-related genomic targets are significantly altered in BRC and predict poor prognosis. These m6A-related genomic targets could serve as novel prognostic biomarkers for BRC.
Project description:Background: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone tumor. The disease has a poor prognosis due to the delay in the diagnosis and the development of metastasis. N6-Methyladenosine (m6A)-related regulators play an essential role in various tumors. In this study, a comprehensive analysis was conducted to elucidate the relationship between the expression profiles of m6A-related molecules and the clinical outcome of OS patients. Materials and Methods: Public genome datasets and a tissue microarray (TMA) cohort were used to analyze the mRNA and protein expression levels of m6A regulators. Next, immunofluorescence (IF) analysis was used to determine the subcellular localization of m6A-related molecules. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were performed to confirm the prognostic value of m6A-related molecules in OS. A comprehensive bioinformatic analysis was conducted to identify the potential molecular mechanisms mediated by m6A modification in OS. Results: We found that m6A-related regulator expression was dysregulated in OS tissues, especially in metastatic tumor tissues. Low expression of METTL3, METTL14, and YTHDF2 and high expression of KIAA1429 and HNRNPA2B1 were significantly associated with poor prognosis in the TMA cohort. Simultaneously, the genome meta-cohort analysis revealed that low expression of FTO and METTL14 and high expression of METTL3, HNRNPA2B1, and YTHDF3 were associated with poor prognosis in OS. Cox regression analysis showed that HNRNPA2B1 might be an independent risk factor for OS. Bioinformatic analysis indicated that m6A regulators might be involved in OS progression through humoral immune response and cell cycle pathways. Conclusion: M6A-related regulators are frequently dysregulated and correlate with metastasis and prognosis in OS. M6A-related regulators may serve as novel therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers for OS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Reversible N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modifications in messenger RNAs can be categorized under the field of "RNA epigenetics." However, the potential role of m6A-related genes in gastric cancer (GC) prognosis has not been systematically researched. AIMS:This study was aimed at providing insights into the prognostic role of m6A-related gene expression, at both mRNA and protein levels. METHODS:Kaplan-Meier (KM) plotter database and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were used to explore the prognostic significance of individual m6A-related genes in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival at the mRNA level. For independent validation, the protein level of genes significantly associated with prognosis in both databases was further detected in 450 paired GC and corresponding adjacent non-tumor tissues using tissue microarray (TMA)-based immunohistochemistry (IHC). The relationship between the FTO and ALKBH1 expression and the clinicopathological characteristics was explored. RESULTS:Among nine m6A-related genes, aberrantly high mRNA expression of FTO and ALKBH1 was associated with poor OS in the KM and TCGA cohorts. However, the TMA-IHC indicated that protein expression of FTO and ALKBH1 was markedly downregulated in GC tissues. A lower protein level of ALKBH1 was closely correlated with larger tumor sizes (≥ 5 cm) and more advanced TNM stages, while lower FTO protein expression was associated with shorter OS in GC patients. CONCLUSIONS:Aberrant expression of demethylase genes, FTO and ALKBH1, has a distinct prognostic value in GC patients, indicating that FTO and ALKBH1 may play vital roles in GC progression and metastasis.
Project description:Colorectal cancer (CRC), including colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) and rectal adenocarcinoma (READ), is one of the most prevalent malignancies worldwide. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a ubiquitous RNA modification that plays a vital role in human tumors, but its expression patterns and prognostic value in CRC have not yet been determined. Here, we first used the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) databases and a tissue microarray (TMA) cohort to verify the expression of m6A-related genes at the mRNA and protein levels. We found that most m6A-related genes were substantially upregulated in tumor tissues compared with normal tissues, but METTL14, YTHDF3 and ALKBH5 were downregulated in CRC. There was no obvious difference in FTO. In addition, WTAP, METTL16, HNRNPC and YTHDC1 were abundantly expressed in COAD but not in READ. Moreover, immunofluorescence (IF) analyses of SW480 and HCT116 cells showed that most of the m6A-related proteins were expressed in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Survival analysis demonstrated that the expression levels of METTL3, METTL14, METTL16, FTO and ALKBH5 were associated with the clinical outcomes of CRC patients. Taken together, all the results revealed that m6A-related genes were dysregulated in CRC and might play a significant role in the progression of CRC.
Project description:To profile the landscape of methylation N6 adenosine (m6A) RNA regulators in colonic adenocarcinoma (COAD) and to explore potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, we assessed the differential expression patterns of m6A RNA methylation regulators between 418 COAD patients and 41 controls based on profiling from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. We plotted the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and calculated the area under the curve (AUC) values to estimate the discrimination ability. The relationship between the expression of m6A RNA methylation regulators and clinicopathological characteristics was explored. Kaplan-Meier plotter, log-rank test, and Cox regression were used and a nomogram was created to explore the prognostic significance of m6A-related genes in overall survival at the mRNA level. Pathway analysis was performed by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) using TCGA dataset, and a coexpression network was built based on the STRING database. We observed that YTHDF1, METTL3, and KIAA1429 were significantly upregulated, while YTHDF3, YTHDC2, METTL14, and ALKBH5 were significantly downregulated in COAD samples compared to normal samples. YTHDF1 had the highest diagnostic value. Low expression of YTHDF3 predicted a poor survival rate in COAD patients. YTHDC2 was related to sex and showed a downward trend as clinical stage increased. Our results indicate that the YT521-B homology (YTH) domain family ("readers"), especially YTHDF1, YTHDF3, and YTHDC2, might play a significant role in the detection, progression, and prognosis of COAD, indicating that they are promising cancer biomarkers.
Project description:Purpose: Gastric cancer (GC) is a primary cause of cancer-associated mortality worldwide. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is one of the most common RNA modifications that involves in the progression of numerous cancers. However, the expression status and function of m6A-related genes in gastric cancer is still not well understood. The current study is aimed to investigate the expression status and determinate prognostic value of m6A-related genes in gastric cancer. Methods: m6A-asssociated gene expression was evaluated via analyzing the expression data of GC patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The protein expression levels of m6A-associated molecules were further validated by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining data from GC tissue microarray (TMA) cohort and Human Protein Atlas (HPA) database. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to assess the prognostic value of m6A-associated genes in gastric cancer. Risk score model was established by lasso COX regression analysis and its prognostic predicted efficiency was assessed by the receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve. Cox regression analyses were used for exploring risk factors related to GC patient prognosis. Results: Most of m6A-related genes were upregulated at both mRNA and protein levels in gastric cancer tissues compared with that in normal gastric tissues. The expression levels of m6A-related genes were associated with clinicopathological features including race, age and TNM stage. High expression of WTAP and FTO predicted poor prognosis of GC patients. Survival analysis demonstrated that patients with high-risk scores had worse overall survival (OS) and ROC curves suggested the prediction performance for gastric patients. Moreover, Cox regression analyses indicated that m6A risk model score was a prognostic factor for OS and FTO upregulation might be a potential independent prognostic factor for recurrence-free survival (RFS) in gastric cancer patients. Conclusion: m6A-related genes were dysregulated in GC and were closely associated with prognosis of GC patients. FTO might serve as a novel prognostic biomarker for gastric cancer, while the m6A-related risk score might be informative for risk assessment and prognostic stratification.
Project description:Background:The role of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) has not been extensively studied. This study therefore aimed to investigate m6A RNA methylation and the expressions of the corresponding modulators in AAA. Methods:A comparative study between AAA tissue samples (n=32) and healthy aortas (n=12) was performed using m6A methylation quantification for messenger RNA (mRNA) m6A status, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and western blot for the expressions of m6A modulators and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to detect locations of the modulators in AAA tissues. Results:The m6A level significantly increased in AAA as compared to healthy aorta tissues. Among AAA patients, the high m6A level represented an even greater risk of AAA rupture as compared to non-ruptured AAA [odds ratio (OR), 1.370; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.007-1.870]. The major N6-adenosine modulators, including YTHDF1, YTHDF3, FTO, and METTL14, are the main factors involved in aberrant m6A modification and the expression of both was significantly correlated to the proportion of m6A in total mRNA. Clinically, YTHDF3 represented an even greater risk of rupture (OR, 1.036; 95% CI, 1.001-1.072). Regarding the cellular location, METTL14 seemed to be associated with inflammatory infiltrates and neovascularization. Furthermore, a strong correlation was seen between FTO and aneurysmal smooth muscle cells (SMCs), YTHDF3, and macrophage infiltrate. Conclusions:We were first to observe m6A modification in human AAA tissues. The results also reveal the important roles of m6A modulators, including YTHDF3, FTO, and METTL14, in the pathogenesis of human AAA and provide a new view on m6A modification in AAA. Our findings suggest a potential mechanism of epigenetic alterations in clinical AAA.
Project description: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: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:OBJECTIVES:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a ubiquitous epigenetic RNA modification that plays a pivotal role in tumour development and metastasis. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expression profiling, clinical significance, biological function and the regulation of m6A-related genes in hepatoblastoma (HB). MATERIALS AND METHODS:The mRNA and protein expression levels of m6A-related genes were analysed using Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and tissue microarray (TMA) cohort. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to evaluate the prognostic value of m6A-related genes in HB. Knockdown of m6A-related genes was conducted to analyse its function on cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Furthermore, bioinformatics analysis and experimental verification were used to explore the potential molecular mechanism and signalling pathway. RESULTS:We found that most m6A-related genes were significantly upregulated in HB tumour tissues. High levels of methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3, P = .013), YTHDF2 (P = .037) and FTO (P = .032) indicated poor clinical outcomes, and the upregulation of METTL3 was an independent prognostic factor in HB patients. Functional assays showed that knockdown of METTL3 could dramatically suppress the proliferation, migration and invasion of HB cells. In addition, METTL3 was identified to be a direct target of microRNA-186 (miR-186). Consistently, miR-186 was low expressed in HB tumour tissues. Moreover, overexpression of miR-186 significantly inhibited cell aggressive phenotype both in vitro and in vivo, while the inhibitory effect could be reversed by METTL3 overexpression. Mechanism study indicated that miR-186/METTL3 axis contributed to the progression of HB via the Wnt/?-catenin signalling pathway. CONCLUSIONS:M6A-related genes were frequently dysregulated in HB. miR-186/METTL3/Wnt/?-catenin axis might serve as novel therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers in HB.
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.