YTHDF2-mediated regulations bifurcate BHPF-induced programmed cell deaths

Natl Sci Rev. 2023 Aug 28;10(12):nwad227. doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwad227. eCollection 2023 Dec.


N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is a critical regulator in the fate of RNA, but whether and how m6A executes its functions in different tissues remains largely obscure. Here we report downregulation of a crucial m6A reader, YTHDF2, leading to tissue-specific programmed cell deaths (PCDs) upon fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF) exposure. Currently, Bisphenol A (BPA) substitutes are widely used in plastic manufacturing. Interrogating eight common BPA substitutes, we detected BHPF in 14% serum samples of pregnant participants. In a zebrafish model, BHPF caused tissue-specific PCDs triggering cardiac and vascular defects. Mechanistically, BHPF-mediated downregulation of YTHDF2 reduced YTHDF2-facilitated translation of m6A-gch1 for cardiomyocyte ferroptosis, and decreased YTHDF2-mediated m6A-sting1 decay for caudal vein plexus (CVP) apoptosis. The two distinct YTHDF2-mediated m6A regulations and context-dependent co-expression patterns of gch1/ythdf2 and tnfrsf1a/ythdf2 contributed to YTHDF2-mediated tissue-specific PCDs, uncovering a new layer of PCD regulation. Since BHPF/YTHDF2-medaited PCD defects were also observed in mammals, BHPF exposure represents a potential health threat.

Keywords: RNA m6A modification; bifurcation role of YTHDF2; environmental stress and m6A regulation; fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF); programmed cell deaths.