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Frontiers of Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 481–489 | Cite as

RNA m6A modification and its function in diseases

  • Jiyu Tong
  • Richard A. Flavell
  • Hua-Bing Li
Open Access
Review

Abstract

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common post-transcriptional RNA modification throughout the transcriptome, affecting fundamental aspects of RNA metabolism. m6A modification could be installed by m6A “writers” composed of core catalytic components (METTL3/METTL14/WTAP) and newly defined regulators and removed by m6A “erasers” (FTO and ALKBH5). The function of m6A is executed by m6A “readers” that bind to m6A directly (YTH domain-containing proteins, eIF3 and IGF2BPs) or indirectly (HNRNPA2B1). In the past few years, advances in m6A modulators (“writers,” “erasers,” and “readers”) have remarkably renewed our understanding of the function and regulation of m6A in different cells under normal or disease conditions. However, the mechanism and the regulatory network of m6A are still largely unknown. Moreover, investigations of the m6A physiological roles in human diseases are limited. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in m6A research and highlight the functional relevance and importance of m6A modification in in vitro cell lines, in physiological contexts, and in cancers.

Keywords

RNA modification m6immunity cancer epigenetics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the members of the Flavell laboratory and the Li laboratory for discussions and technical support. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 91753141 to Hua-Bing Li), the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar) at Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning (Hua- Bing Li), the start-up fund from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (Hua-Bing Li), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Richard A. Flavell).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyShanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM)ShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of ImmunobiologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteChevy ChaseUSA

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