Regulation of Gene Expression by N 6-methyladenosine in Cancer

Trends Cell Biol. 2019 Jun;29(6):487-499. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2019.02.008. Epub 2019 Mar 30.


As the most abundant mRNA modification in eukaryotic cells, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has recently emerged as an important regulator of gene expression. m6A modification can be deposited by m6A methyltransferases, removed by m6A demethylases, and recognized by different reader proteins. Numerous lines of evidence have shown that m6A methylation plays critical roles regulating gene expression in development and disease. In this review, we summarize the molecular and cellular function of m6A and highlight some key results which demonstrate the role of m6A in various cancers. Finally, we discuss future directions for research into m6A and its effects in cancer and the potential for targeting RNA modification in cancer treatment.

Keywords: N(6)-methyladenosine; RNA modification; cancer; gene regulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • N-methyladenosine
  • Adenosine