The RNA modification N 6-methyladenosine as a novel regulator of the immune system

Nat Immunol. 2020 May;21(5):501-512. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-0650-4. Epub 2020 Apr 13.


Protection from harmful pathogens depends on activation of the immune system, which relies on tight regulation of gene expression. Recently, the RNA modification N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been found to play an essential role in such regulation. Here, we summarize newly discovered functions of m6A in controlling various aspects of immunity, including immune recognition, activation of innate and adaptive immune responses, and cell fate decisions. We then discuss some of the current challenges in the field and describe future directions for uncovering the immunological functions of m6A and its mechanisms of action.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics
  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Adenosine / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Immunomodulation
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional / immunology*


  • N6-methyladenosine (m6A)
  • RNA
  • Adenosine