Gene expression regulation mediated through reversible m⁶A RNA methylation

Nat Rev Genet. 2014 May;15(5):293-306. doi: 10.1038/nrg3724. Epub 2014 Mar 25.


Cellular RNAs carry diverse chemical modifications that used to be regarded as static and having minor roles in 'fine-tuning' structural and functional properties of RNAs. In this Review, we focus on reversible methylation through the most prevalent mammalian mRNA internal modification, N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A). Recent studies have discovered protein 'writers', 'erasers' and 'readers' of this RNA chemical mark, as well as its dynamic deposition on mRNA and other types of nuclear RNA. These findings strongly indicate dynamic regulatory roles that are analogous to the well-known reversible epigenetic modifications of DNA and histone proteins. This reversible RNA methylation adds a new dimension to the developing picture of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • N-methyladenosine
  • Methyltransferases
  • Adenosine