METTL14-mediated m6A modification of circORC5 suppresses gastric cancer progression by regulating miR-30c-2-3p/AKT1S1 axis

Mol Cancer. 2022 Feb 14;21(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12943-022-01521-z.


Background: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation and circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been shown to act vital roles in multiple malignancies including gastric cancer (GC). However, there is little knowledge about how m6A modification of circRNAs contributes to GC progression.

Methods: The association of METTL14 expression with the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in patients with GC was assessed by Western blot, Immunohistochemistry and public datasets. In vitro and vivo function experiments were conducted to investigate the role of METTL14 in GC. Furthermore, m6A-circRNA epitranscriptomic microarray was utilized to identify METTL14-mediated m6A modification of circRNAs, which were validated by methylated RNA immunoprecipitation (Me-RIP), RT-qPCR and rescue experiments in GC cells. The sponge of circORC5 with miR-30c-2-3p was confirmed by luciferase gene report and RNA immunoprecipitation assays. The expression, localization and prognosis of circORC5 in GC were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The effects of METTL14 and (or) circORC5 on miR-30c-2-3p-mediated AKT1S1 and EIF4B were estimated by RT-qPCR and Western blot analyses.

Results: We found that METTL14 was downregulated in GC tissue samples and its low expression acted as a prognostic factor of poor survival in patients with GC. Ectopic expression of METTL14 markedly repressed growth and invasion of GC cells in vitro and in vivo, whereas knockdown of METTL14 harbored the opposite effects. Mechanically, m6A-circRNA epitranscriptomic microarray and Me-RIP identified circORC5 as the downstream target of METTL14. Silencing of METTL14 reduced the m6A level of circORC5, but increased circORC5 expression. Moreover, circORC5 could sponge miR-30c-2-3p, and reverse METTL14-caused upregulation of miR-30c-2-3p and downregulation of AKT1S1 and EIF4B. In addition, circORC5 possessed a negative correlation with miR-30c-2-3p and indicated a poor survival in GC.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that METTL14-mediated m6A modification of circORC5 suppresses gastric cancer progression by regulating miR-30c-2-3p/AKT1S1 axis.

Keywords: Gastric cancer; METTL14; circORC5; m6A; miR-30c-2-3p.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Methyltransferases* / genetics
  • Methyltransferases* / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / metabolism
  • RNA, Circular* / genetics
  • RNA, Circular* / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / pathology


  • AKT1S1 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • MIRN30C2 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Circular
  • METTL14 protein, human
  • Methyltransferases