N(6)-Methyladenosine RNA Modification Regulates Shoot Stem Cell Fate in Arabidopsis

Dev Cell. 2016 Jul 25;38(2):186-200. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.06.008. Epub 2016 Jul 7.


N(6)-Methyladenosine (m(6)A) represents the most prevalent internal modification on mRNA and requires a multicomponent m(6)A methyltransferase complex in mammals. How their plant counterparts determine the global m(6)A modification landscape and its molecular link to plant development remain unknown. Here we show that FKBP12 INTERACTING PROTEIN 37 KD (FIP37) is a core component of the m(6)A methyltransferase complex, which underlies control of shoot stem cell fate in Arabidopsis. The mutants lacking FIP37 exhibit massive overproliferation of shoot meristems and a transcriptome-wide loss of m(6)A RNA modifications. We further demonstrate that FIP37 mediates m(6)A RNA modification on key shoot meristem genes inversely correlated with their mRNA stability, thus confining their transcript levels to prevent shoot meristem overproliferation. Our results suggest an indispensable role of FIP37 in mediating m(6)A mRNA modification, which is required for maintaining the shoot meristem as a renewable source for continuously producing all aerial organs in plants.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine / chemistry
  • Adenosine / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Meristem / cytology*
  • Meristem / metabolism
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Shoots / cytology*
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Plant / chemistry*
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • FIP37 protein, Arabidopsis
  • RNA, Plant
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • N-methyladenosine
  • Adenosine