Press Releases

2018.11.27

Cap-specific terminal N6-methylation of RNA by an RNA polymerase Ⅱ-associated methyltransferase: Shinichiro Akichika (D2), Lecturer Takeo Suzuki, Prof. Tsutomu Suzuki, Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, and other researchers

N6-methyladenosine (m6A), a major modification of mRNAs, plays critical roles in RNA metabolism and function. In addition to the internal m6A, N6, 2′-O-dimethyladenosine (m6Am) is present at the transcription start nucleotide of capped mRNAs in vertebrates. However, its biogenesis and functional role remain elusive. Using a reverse genetics approach, we identified PCIF1, a factor that interacts with the Ser5-phosphorylated C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II, as cap-specific adenosine methyltransferase (CAPAM) responsible for N6-methylation of m6Am. Crystal structure of CAPAM in complex with substrates revealed the molecular basis of cap-specific m6A formation. A transcriptome-wide analysis revealed that N6-methylation of m6Am promotes the translation of capped mRNAs. Thus, a cap-specific m6A writer promotes translation of mRNAs starting from m6Am.


 

Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/11/19/science.aav0080

Suzuki Lab: http://rna.chem.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/index.html