Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 33 (6), 380-390

M 6 A in mRNA: An Ancient Mechanism for Fine-Tuning Gene Expression


M 6 A in mRNA: An Ancient Mechanism for Fine-Tuning Gene Expression

Jean-Yves Roignant et al. Trends Genet.


Modifications in mRNA constitute ancient mechanisms to regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prominent mRNA modification, and is installed by a large methyltransferase complex (the m6A 'writer'), not only specifically bound by RNA-binding proteins (the m6A 'readers'), but also removed by demethylases (the m6A 'erasers'). m6A mRNA modifications have been linked to regulation at multiple steps in mRNA processing. In analogy to the regulation of gene expression by miRNAs, we propose that the main function of m6A is post-transcriptional fine-tuning of gene expression. In contrast to miRNA regulation, which mostly reduces gene expression, we argue that m6A provides a fast mean to post-transcriptionally maximize gene expression. Additionally, m6A appears to have a second function during developmental transitions by targeting m6A-marked transcripts for degradation.

Keywords: Xist; alternative splicing/polyadenylation; mRNA export; mRNA stability; mRNA translation; sex lethal.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 52 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources