Emerging role for m6A RNA modification in cancer: learning from leukemia

We are currently assisting at the explosion of the epitranscriptomics, which studies the functional role of chemical modifications into RNA molecules. Among more than 100 RNA modifications, the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has attracted the interest of researchers all around the world. m6A is the most abundant internal chemical modification in mRNA and it can control any aspect of mRNA post-transcriptional regulation. m6A is installed by “writers”, removed by “erasers”, and recognized by “readers”, thus, it can be compared to the reversible and dynamic epigenetic modifications in histones and DNA. Given its fundamental role in determining the fate of mRNAs, it comes as no surprise that alterations to m6A modifications have a deep impact in cell differentiation, normal development and human diseases. Here, I will present the important role of m6A modification in gene expression and its contribution to cancer development. In particular, I will focus on myeloid leukaemia that, among first, has indicated how alteration in m6A modification can disrupt normal cellular proliferation and lead to cancer.

11/03/2022 Alessandro Fatica Dept. Biology and Biotechnology Sapienza

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