RNA m6A regulates transcription via DNA demethylation and chromatin accessibility

Nat Genet. 2022 Sep;54(9):1427-1437. doi: 10.1038/s41588-022-01173-1. Epub 2022 Sep 7.


Transcriptional regulation, which integrates chromatin accessibility, transcription factors and epigenetic modifications, is crucial for establishing and maintaining cell identity. The interplay between different epigenetic modifications and its contribution to transcriptional regulation remains elusive. Here, we show that METTL3-mediated RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) formation leads to DNA demethylation in nearby genomic loci in normal and cancer cells, which is mediated by the interaction between m6A reader FXR1 and DNA 5-methylcytosine dioxygenase TET1. Upon recognizing RNA m6A, FXR1 recruits TET1 to genomic loci to demethylate DNA, leading to reprogrammed chromatin accessibility and gene transcription. Therefore, we have characterized a regulatory mechanism of chromatin accessibility and gene transcription mediated by RNA m6A formation coupled with DNA demethylation, highlighting the importance of the crosstalk between RNA m6A and DNA modification in physiologic and pathogenic process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin* / genetics
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Demethylation*
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • RNA
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA
  • DNA