Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Chemotherapy resistance remains a barrier to improving the prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). ALKBH5 has recently been shown to be one of the RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) demethyltransferases associated with various cancers, but its role in cancer therapeutic resistance remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of AlkB homolog 5 (ALKBH5) in cisplatin-resistant EOC.<h4>Methods</h4>Functional assays were performed both in vitro and in vivo. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), m6A-modified RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq), chromatin immunoprecipitation, RNA immunoprecipitation, and luciferase reporter and actinomycin-D assays were performed to investigate RNA/RNA interaction and m6A modification of the ALKBH5-HOXA10 loop.<h4>Results</h4>ALKBH5 was upregulated in cisplatin-resistant EOC and promoted cancer cell cisplatin resistance both in vivo and in vitro. Notably, HOXA10 formed a loop with ALKBH5 and was found to be the upstream transcription factor of ALKBH5. HOXA10 overexpression also facilitated EOC cell chemoresistance both in vivo and in vitro. Collective results of MeRIP-seq and RNA-seq showed that JAK2 is the m6A-modified gene targeted by ALKBH5. The JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway was activated by overexpression of the ALKBH5-HOXA10 loop, resulting in EOC chemoresistance. Cell sensitivity to cisplatin was rescued by ALKBH5 and HOXA10 knockdown or inhibition of the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway in EOC cells overexpressing ALKBH5-HOXA10.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The ALKBH5-HOXA10 loop jointly activates the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway by mediating JAK2 m6A demethylation, promoting EOC resistance to cisplatin. Thus, inhibition of the expression of the ALKBH5-HOXA10 loop may be a potential strategy to overcome cisplatin resistance in EOC.
Project description:During organ formation and regeneration a proper balance between promoting and restricting growth is critical to achieve stereotypical size. Limb bud outgrowth is driven by signals in a positive feedback loop involving fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) genes, sonic hedgehog (Shh) and Gremlin1 (Grem1). Precise termination of these signals is essential to restrict limb bud size. The current model predicts a sequence of signal termination consistent with that in chick limb buds. Our finding that the sequence in mouse limb buds is different led us to explore alternative mechanisms. Here we show, by analysing compound mouse mutants defective in genes comprising the positive loop, genetic evidence that FGF signalling can repress Grem1 expression, revealing a novel Fgf/Grem1 inhibitory loop. This repression occurs both in mouse and chick limb buds, and is dependent on high FGF activity. These data support a mechanism where the positive Fgf/Shh loop drives outgrowth and an increase in FGF signalling, which triggers the Fgf/Grem1 inhibitory loop. The inhibitory loop then operates to terminate outgrowth signals in the order observed in either mouse or chick limb buds. Our study unveils the concept of a self-promoting and self-terminating circuit that may be used to attain proper tissue size in a broad spectrum of developmental and regenerative settings.
Project description:R-loops are three-stranded, RNA-DNA hybrid, nucleic acid structures produced due to inappropriate processing of newly transcribed RNA or transcription-replication collision (TRC). Although R-loops are important for many cellular processes, their accumulation causes genomic instability and malignant diseases, so these structures are tightly regulated. It was recently reported that R-loop accumulation is resolved by methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3)-mediated m6A RNA methylation under physiological conditions. However, it remains unclear how R-loops in the genome are recognized and induce resolution signals. Here, we demonstrate that tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein (TonEBP) recognizes R-loops generated by DNA damaging agents such as ultraviolet (UV) or camptothecin (CPT). Single-molecule imaging and biochemical assays reveal that TonEBP preferentially binds a R-loop via both 3D collision and 1D diffusion along DNA in vitro. In addition, we find that TonEBP recruits METTL3 to R-loops through the Rel homology domain (RHD) for m6A RNA methylation. We also show that TonEBP recruits RNaseH1 to R-loops through a METTL3 interaction. Consistent with this, TonEBP or METTL3 depletion increases R-loops and reduces cell survival in the presence of UV or CPT. Collectively, our results reveal an R-loop resolution pathway by TonEBP and m6A RNA methylation by METTL3 and provide new insights into R-loop resolution processes.
Project description:The conserved modification N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modulates mRNA processing and activity. Here, we establish the Drosophila system to study the m6A pathway. We first apply miCLIP to map m6A across embryogenesis, characterize its m6A 'writer' complex, validate its YTH 'readers' CG6422 and YT521-B, and generate mutants in five m6A factors. While m6A factors with additional roles in splicing are lethal, m6A-specific mutants are viable but present certain developmental and behavioural defects. Notably, m6A facilitates the master female determinant Sxl, since multiple m6A components enhance female lethality in Sxl sensitized backgrounds. The m6A pathway regulates Sxl processing directly, since miCLIP data reveal Sxl as a major intronic m6A target, and female-specific Sxl splicing is compromised in multiple m6A pathway mutants. YT521-B is a dominant m6A effector for Sxl regulation, and YT521-B overexpression can induce female-specific Sxl splicing. Overall, our transcriptomic and genetic toolkit reveals in vivo biologic function for the Drosophila m6A pathway.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A) messenger RNA methylation is the most widespread gene regulatory mechanism affecting liver functions and disorders. However, the relationship between m6A methylation and arsenic-induced hepatic insulin resistance (IR), which is a critical initiating event in arsenic-induced metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), remains unclear. Here, we showed that arsenic treatment facilitated methyltransferase-like 14 (METTL14)-mediated m6A methylation, and that METTL14 interference reversed arsenic-impaired hepatic insulin sensitivity. We previously showed that arsenic-induced NOD-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation contributed to hepatic IR. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying the role of arsenic toward the post-transcriptional modification of NLRP3 remain unclear. Here, we showed that NLRP3 mRNA stability was enhanced by METTL14-mediated m6A methylation during arsenic-induced hepatic IR. Furthermore, we demonstrated that arsenite methyltransferase (AS3MT), an essential enzyme in arsenic metabolic processes, interacted with NLRP3 to activate the inflammasome, thereby contributing to arsenic-induced hepatic IR. Also, AS3MT strengthened the m6A methylase association with NLRP3 to stabilize m6A-modified NLRP3. In summary, we showed that AS3MT-induced m6A modification critically regulated NLRP3 inflammasome activation during arsenic-induced hepatic IR, and we identified a novel post-transcriptional function of AS3MT in promoting arsenicosis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> The underlying mechanisms of the potential tumor-suppressive effects of ginsenoside Rh2 are complex. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation is usually dysregulated in cancer. This study explored the regulatory effect of ginsenoside Rh2 on m6A RNA methylation in cancer. Methods: m6A RNA quantification and gene-specific m6A RIP-qPCR assays were applied to assess total and gene-specific m6A RNA levels. Co-immunoprecipitation, fractionation western blotting, and immunofluorescence staining were performed to detect protein interactions and distribution. QRT-PCR, dual-luciferase, and ChIP-qPCR assays were conducted to check the transcriptional regulation. <h4>Results</h4> Ginsenoside Rh2 reduces m6A RNA methylation and KIF26B expression in a dose-dependent manner in some cancers. KIF26B interacts with ZC3H13 and CBLL1 in the cytoplasm of cancer cells and enhances their nuclear distribution. KIF26B inhibition reduces m6A RNA methylation level in cancer cells. SRF bound to the KIF26B promoter and activated its transcription. SRF mRNA m6A abundance significantly decreased upon KIF26B silencing. SRF knockdown suppressed cancer cell proliferation and growth both in vitro and in vivo, the effect of which was partly rescued by KIF26B overexpression. Conclusion: ginsenoside Rh2 reduces m6A RNA methylation via downregulating KIF26B expression in some cancer cells. KIF26B elevates m6A RNA methylation via enhancing ZC3H13/CBLL1 nuclear localization. KIF26B-SRF forms a positive feedback loop facilitating tumor growth. Graphical abstract Image 1
Project description:Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that can cause serious opportunistic disease in the immunocompromised or through congenital infection. To progress through its life cycle, Toxoplasma relies on multiple layers of gene regulation that includes an array of transcription and epigenetic factors. Over the last decade, the modification of mRNA has emerged as another important layer of gene regulation called epitranscriptomics. Here, we report that epitranscriptomics machinery exists in Toxoplasma, namely the methylation of adenosines (m6A) in mRNA transcripts. We identified novel components of the m6A methyltransferase complex and determined the distribution of m6A marks within the parasite transcriptome. m6A mapping revealed the modification to be preferentially located near the 3'-boundary of mRNAs. Knockdown of the m6A writer components METTL3 and WTAP resulted in diminished m6A marks and a complete arrest of parasite replication. Furthermore, we examined the two proteins in Toxoplasma that possess YTH domains, which bind m6A marks, and showed them to be integral members of the cleavage and polyadenylation machinery that catalyzes the 3'-end processing of pre-mRNAs. Loss of METTL3, WTAP, or YTH1 led to a defect in transcript 3'-end formation. Together, these findings establish that the m6A epitranscriptome is essential for parasite viability by contributing to the processing of mRNA 3'-ends.
Project description:N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most prevalent internal RNA modification on mammalian messenger RNAs, regulates the fates and functions of modified transcripts through m6A-specific binding proteins1-5. In the nervous system, m6A is abundant and modulates various neural functions6-11. Whereas m6A marks groups of mRNAs for coordinated degradation in various physiological processes12-15, the relevance of m6A for mRNA translation in vivo remains largely unknown. Here we show that, through its binding protein YTHDF1, m6A promotes protein translation of target transcripts in response to neuronal stimuli in the adult mouse hippocampus, thereby facilitating learning and memory. Mice with genetic deletion of Ythdf1 show learning and memory defects as well as impaired hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. Re-expression of YTHDF1 in the hippocampus of adult Ythdf1-knockout mice rescues the behavioural and synaptic defects, whereas hippocampus-specific acute knockdown of Ythdf1 or Mettl3, which encodes the catalytic component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, recapitulates the hippocampal deficiency. Transcriptome-wide mapping of YTHDF1-binding sites and m6A sites on hippocampal mRNAs identified key neuronal genes. Nascent protein labelling and tether reporter assays in hippocampal neurons showed that YTHDF1 enhances protein synthesis in a neuronal-stimulus-dependent manner. In summary, YTHDF1 facilitates translation of m6A-methylated neuronal mRNAs in response to neuronal stimulation, and this process contributes to learning and memory.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, protein synthesis typically begins with the binding of eIF4F to the 7-methylguanylate (m7G) cap found on the 5' end of the majority of mRNAs. Surprisingly, overall translational output remains robust under eIF4F inhibition. The broad spectrum of eIF4F-resistant translatomes is incompatible with cap-independent translation mediated by internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs). Here, we report that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) facilitates mRNA translation that is resistant to eIF4F inactivation. Depletion of the methyltransferase METTL3 selectively inhibits translation of mRNAs bearing 5' UTR methylation, but not mRNAs with 5' terminal oligopyrimidine (TOP) elements. We identify ABCF1 as a critical mediator of m6A-promoted translation under both stress and physiological conditions. Supporting the role of ABCF1 in m6A-facilitated mRNA translation, ABCF1-sensitive transcripts largely overlap with METTL3-dependent mRNA targets. By illustrating the scope and mechanism of eIF4F-independent mRNA translation, these findings reshape our current perceptions of cellular translational pathways.