Molecular characterization and clinical relevance of m 6 A regulators across 33 cancer types

Mol Cancer. 2019 Sep 14;18(1):137. doi: 10.1186/s12943-019-1066-3.


The methylation of N6 adenosine (m6A) plays a critical role in diverse biological processes. However, knowledge regarding the reconstitution of m6A across cancer types is still lacking. Here, we systematically analyzed the molecular alterations and clinical relevance of m6A regulators across > 10,000 subjects representing 33 cancer types. We found that there are widespread genetic alterations to m6A regulators, and that their expression levels are significantly correlated with the activity of cancer hallmark-related pathways. Moreover, m6A regulators were found to be potentially useful for prognostic stratification, and we identified IGF2BP3 as a potential oncogene across multiple cancer types. Our results provide a valuable resource that will guide both mechanistic and therapeutic analyses of the role of m6A regulators in cancer.

Keywords: Cancer pathways; Genetic alterations; Pan-cancer; Survival; m6A regulators.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism*
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adenosine