Modomics - A Database of RNA Modifications

Published on None in volume (2014) J Biol Chem 289: 17299-17311 .

PubMed ID: 24778178 

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M114.550350


N(6)-Methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most prevalent internal RNA modification in eukaryotes. ALKBH5 belongs to the AlkB family of dioxygenases and has been shown to specifically demethylate m(6)A in single-stranded RNA. Here we report crystal structures of ALKBH5 in the presence of either its cofactors or the ALKBH5 inhibitor citrate. Catalytic assays demonstrate that the ALKBH5 catalytic domain can demethylate both single-stranded RNA and single-stranded DNA. We identify the TCA cycle intermediate citrate as a modest inhibitor of ALKHB5 (IC50, ∼488 μm). The structural analysis reveals that a loop region of ALKBH5 is immobilized by a disulfide bond that apparently excludes the binding of dsDNA to ALKBH5. We identify the m(6)A binding pocket of ALKBH5 and the key residues involved in m(6)A recognition using mutagenesis and ITC binding experiments.