Published on Jan. 18, 2019 in Oncogene volume 38(19).
PubMed ID: 30659266
N-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant modification in eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs), and plays important roles in many bioprocesses. However, its functions in bladder cancer (BCa) remain elusive. Here, we discovered that methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3), a major RNA N-adenosine methyltransferase, was significantly up-regulated in human BCa. Knockdown of METTL3 drastically reduced BCa cell proliferation, invasion, and survival in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. On the other hand, overexpression of METTL3 significantly promoted BCa cell growth and invasion. Through transcriptome sequencing, mA sequencing and mA methylated RNA immuno-precipitation quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, we revealed the profile of METTL3-mediated mA modification in BCa cells for the first time. AF4/FMR2 family member 4 (AFF4), two key regulators of NF-κB pathway (IKBKB and RELA) and MYC were further identified as direct targets of METTL3-mediated mA modification. In addition, we showed that besides NF-κB, AFF4 binds to the promoter of MYC and promotes its expression, implying a novel multilevel regulatory network downstream of METTL3. Our results uncovered an AFF4/NF-κB/MYC signaling network operated by METTL3-mediated m6A modification and provided insight into the mechanisms of BCa progression.