METTL3-mediated mRNA N 6-methyladenosine is required for oocyte and follicle development in mice

Cell Death Dis. 2021 Oct 23;12(11):989. doi: 10.1038/s41419-021-04272-9.


Proper follicle development is very important for the production of mature oocytes, which is essential for the maintenance of female fertility. This complex biological process requires precise gene regulation. The most abundant modification of mRNA, N6-methyladenosine (m6A), is involved in many RNA metabolism processes, including RNA splicing, translation, stability, and degradation. Here, we report that m6A plays essential roles during oocyte and follicle development. Oocyte-specific inactivation of the key m6A methyltransferase Mettl3 with Gdf9-Cre caused DNA damage accumulation in oocytes, defective follicle development, and abnormal ovulation. Mechanistically, combined RNA-seq and m6A methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq) data from oocytes revealed, that we found METTL3 targets Itsn2 for m6A modification and then enhances its stability to influence the oocytes meiosis. Taken together, our findings highlight the crucial roles of mRNA m6A modification in follicle development and coordination of RNA stabilization during oocyte growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't